CIPRA representatives:

Personal tools

  Search filter  

Further Information


Researching the Alps

Jan 30, 2019 / alpMedia
They are probably among the most thoroughly researched mountain areas on Earth, yet the spirit of research in the Alps remains undiminished: November 2018 saw the opening of a new Centre for Mountain Research in the Swiss city of Sion.
Image caption:
The Alps continue to fascinate researchers and scientists. © ::ErWin,

On 2 November the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, opened a new Interdisciplinary Centre for Mountain Research (CIRM) in Sion. The aim of CIRM is to develop research in nine priority areas such as energy transition, tourism, health and natural hazards in mountain areas. Up to 50 researchers from various institutions – from geologists to historians – will be working to jointly meet the challenges of sustainable development in the Alpine regions.

There are numerous research questions about the Alpine mountain regions, and not only at local or national level. New and acute problems relating to climate change or globalisation need global approaches and partnerships. «It will only be possible to meet future challenges for preserving Alpine ecosystems through international co-operation in terms of research, conservation and political will», states Patrick Schwager of the University of Graz, Austria. This is one of five partners in the Alpine region belonging to the international Alpine Seed Conservation & Research Network, whose aim is to obtain high-quality seeds from Alpine plants for research and conservation work. Other international Alpine research facilities complement both CIRM and this network: in Switzerland these include ISCAR (International Scientific Committee on Research in the Alps), the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) whose focus is on sustainable development, and the Global Biodiversity Assessment concentrating on biodiversity. In Germany the AFI (Alpine Research Institute) has over 20 years of experience in applied research and consultancy work, while Euromontana, the European Association of Mountain Areas, has headquarters in Paris and Brussels. Finally, the Institute for Alpine Environment at EURAC in Italy conducts application-oriented research into mountain areas.


Sources and further information: (fr),,,,, (de)