Beyond the Via Alpina

Beyond the Via Alpina, a series of initiatives tailored to the Alpine Range  



A Political Framework: the Alpine Convention

This international treaty, signed in 1991 by the eight Alpine countries and the European Union, bears witness to the political will to ensure sustainable development in the Alps with a supra regional viewpoint.





It consists of a framework convention and eight administrative protocols to enforce:

- Regional planning and sustainable development
- Nature conservation and landscape management
- Mountain farming
- Mountain forests
- Tourism
- Energy
- Soil protection
- Transport.

As well as the protocols the Ministers for the Environment of the eight countries have adopted two further declarations: The Declaration on Population and Culture and The Declaration on Climate Change.


Since 2003 the Convention has had a Permanent Secretariat based in Innsbruck (Austria) and Bolzano (Italy).

A « Memorandum of Understanding » was signed in February 2005 (and renewed in March 2009) between the Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention and the Via Alpina Steering Committee as a basis for the common concrete actions of the two organisations.

Alpine Convention          





The Alpine Network of Protected Areas ALPARC (

Network of all large scale protected area management bodies in the Alps, that is to say nearly 1000 national, natural and regional parks, nature reserves and biosphere reserves.

Since 1995 ALPARC has been favouring and supporting exchanges of experiences and know how between the management bodies of protected areas on many different subjects. The network is working in particular towards the creation of an Ecological Alpine Network. It also develops common communication actions and tools for the protected areas.


Club Arc Alpin

The Club Arc Alpin ( 

This working group set up in 1995 made up of the eight Alpine clubs aims to defend their common interests above all in the field of mountaineering, nature conservation and the development of the Alpine region, of Alpine culture within the framework of the Alpine Convention.

Allianz in den Alpen

Alliance in the Alps (

The Alliance in the Alps network of municipalities initiated in collaboration with CIPRA is an association comprising more than 300 local authorities located throughout the Alpine region, from France to Slovenia. The member communities have come together in support of the goals of the Alpine Convention for sustainable development in the Alps.

To this end they work in close contact with the resident populations to improve the ecological, social and economic situation in their communities. In addition they share knowledge and findings with other members of the network. These goals are achieved through a regular programme of meetings, conferences and excursions.



Alpine Town of the Year

Alpine Town of the Year (

The association "Alpine town of the year" is the coming together of the Alpine towns that have been awarded the title of  "Alpine town of the year". This title is a distinctive sign for particular commitment towards the implementation of the Alpine Convention. Since 1997 it is awarded by an international Jury, of which CIPRA is a member.

In the area of application of the Alpine Convention, every town can become "Alpine Town of the year ", which shows its intention to put the Alpine Convention into practice. This means, to prove that ecology, economics and social/cultural issues are not alternatives, but they can integrate mutually in a sensible and future-oriented approach.

Alpine Space Programme

The Alpine Space programme (

By means of the Interreg IIIB Alpine Space programme from 2000 to 2006, and then under the name of European Territorial Co-operation, within the framework of a new Alpine Space Programme 2007-2013, the European Union supported numerous transnational territorial development projects in the Alps. Furthermore transborder programmes also exist, aimed at supporting initiatives between two countries to take place on both sides of the border.

The European Territorial Co-operation programmes for the period 2014-2020 are currently in preparation.