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"We Stay on the Ground"

Feb 03, 2020
Explore the Alps by train: For the "Youth Alpine Interrail" participants, flight-free travel is a varied adventure.
Image caption:
"We Stay on the Ground - Flight Free 2020" (c) CIPRA International

‘Sustainable travelling’ are two words that the participants of the "Youth Alpine Interrail" (Yoalin) program were very familiar with last year. The Yoalin’s discussed their experiences, ideas and suggestions for sustainable mobility in Ljubljana/SL with Marko Maver, the Slovenian State Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, in December. One of the wishes made by the 16-member delegation of the Yoalin team was the creation of a new train ticket valid for just the Alpine regions. 

Some Yoalins are also taking a critical view into 2020 and are therefore refraining from air travel. A flight from Ljubljana to Zurich causes 83.68 CO2 kilograms of emissions, four times the emissions of a train journey. Jonas Sonnenschein, coordinator of the campaign, proclaimed "We stay on the ground – a flight-free 2020" at the NGO Umanotera: "Air travel is cheap and therefore often tempts people to take short weekend trips. For many people, air travel is indispensable."

The Yoalins have proven that flying is not necessary to have an extraordinary trip, as shown by reports and photos submitted to the competition. "Decelerated travel is a unique experience that allows personal interactions. With flightless travel, the journey becomes part of the adventure. This made it possible for us to get in touch with the people living in the Alps and carry with us their life stories" says Karin Augsburger, a member of the CIPRA Youth Advisory Council (CYC). Two thirds of the Yoalin participants say that Youth Alpine Interrail has had a major impact on their mobility behaviour. The flight-free movement is steadily growing.

The Youth Alpine Interrail project organised by CIPRA Youth Advisory Council (CYC) and CIPRA International gives 100 young people the opportunity to explore the Alps by train. As in 2018 and 2019, the project will be implemented again this year. In 2018 and 2019 editions were supported financially by the Swiss Federal Office of Spatial Development, the RHW Foundation, the Austrian Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism, the Liechtenstein Office of the Environment and the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.


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