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Tuesday, 19 September 2017 10:33

Human-Nature Conflicts and how to overcome them

ALPBIONET2030 proposes a first overview of mediation and mitigation strategies for mountain areas

As a first result of the ALPBIONET2030 project, a report on the state of the art of current mitigation and mediation strategies in mountain areas is available. The study, led by Eurac Research, presents a collection of human-nature conflict case studies and mitigation strategies used in the Alps and in other mountain areas with indications on the transferability of results.


Human-wildlife interactions have always been a significant feature of mountain areas. In the last decades, conservation policies, demographic tendencies, ecological and topographic factors have together resulted in an intensification of this phenomenon in the Alps. These interactions of various kinds can have several negative impacts, both on human activities and on biodiversity conservation. Therefore, there is an absolute need to manage them efficiently from a social and ecological point of view in order to enhance cohabitation in a necessarily shared space.


Wildlife management has traditionally focused on reducing damages caused by animals on human activities, and vice versa. However, there is increasing acknowledgment among specialists that the social dimension of human-wildlife conflicts should constantly be taken into account to manage conflicts.


This work presents a sample of existing mitigation and conflict resolution approaches in mountain areas.  It intends to emphasize the necessity to combine multi- and inter-disciplinary methods in order to reach a qualitative and stable level of human-nature coexistence that would enter into the scheme of a well-established ecological connectivity management throughout Alpine areas.


Public response to wildlife presence is namely considered as a prominent factor in the intensity of a conflict and an important area of work that is to be addressed through mediation approaches.


The present report also suggests that this social and recently considered component of the conflict could be the cornerstone for making the so-called conflict an opportunity to stimulate regional development in the Alps. Turning intense human reactions to wildlife presence into positive actions such as ecotourism development based on wildlife presence would be an example of this. For this reason, it would be necessary to first revise our ambition of “conflict resolution” and focus efforts on optimizing the management of human-wildlife interaction. 


ALPBIONET2030 runs from November 2016 to December 2019 and is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Alpine Space programme (Total budget: 2,637,285 € - 2,241,693 € ERDF grant). ALPARC is lead partner in this project.

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The 2017 edition of the Alpine Convention photo contest is focused on Water that was identified as one of the Alpine Convention’s main topics and fields of work.

Either in lakes, rivers, glaciers, snow or rain, water is visible across the Alps and represents a crucial resource that the Alps provide to an area that stretches well beyond the perimeter of the territory defined by the Alpine Convention itself.

The participants are asked to submit pictures representing Water in the Alps, emphasizing how it is related to life, as well as other aspects such as the different uses of water, its consumption or preservation.

The best pictures will be included in 2018 calendar of the Alpine Convention. Photos can be submitted until 3rd September 2017.

For further information, please visit the website.

Published in News from the Alps

This book on wildlife crimes by Heinrich Haller represents a trans-border study reaching from the Swiss National Park over to Italy and Austria. A study of this type has never been published in such a way. It is not only about refurbishing history but also about the analysis of present day cases shedding light on dark activities. An exceptional case of the illegal trade of Shahtoosh scarfs in St. Moritz leads to searching for clues as far as Tibet and establishes a link with the dramatic situation of wildlife crimes in many countries on a global scale.

The goal of this study is to provide a mostly quantitative refurbishment of wildlife crimes in the Raethian border triangle. The issue of the impacts of the illegal hunting of wildlife populations remains in the foreground.

The collected information serves to explain the phenomenon of wildlife crimes and to show ways of improving the situation. Literature regarding wildlife crimes is very widespread in the Alps, concentrating mostly on cultural-historic aspects. Thus, the present publication provides a new perspective.

The first edition was published in 2016 in German - since February 2017, an Italian version is  also available.

 

Published in International news

Hundreds of young people met across the Alps and the Carpathians, all engaging in a great adventure spending one day and one night in the mountains.

 

The third edition of “Youth at the Top” took place on July 11th and July 12th in six Alpine countries and three countries of the Carpathians.

This time, the international youth event hosted 48 events which involved numerous different day and night activities.

 

 

Hence, more than 500 enthusiastic young people from Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland, Poland, Romania and Slovakia set out on a great adventure to discover the treasures of the mountain environment.

Have a look at the first pictures from the events and find out more in the press release below.

 

 

 Visit the website www.youth-at-the-top.org or follow us on facebook and find more pictures and information about all the events!

 

 

 

 

 

For the project "Youth at the Top" ALPARC has the financial support of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment and the Principality of Monaco.

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The photo exhibition “Luci della Montagna” is opening on Friday 23rd June. Around 40 works by Luca Gino printed in high quality and on large format represent the mountains in the surrounding of Cuneo, from Marguareis to Monviso with unique and fascinating light conditions at sunrise or sunset. Every work is commented by texts from writers, journalist, alpinist and scholars. 

The exhibition is organized by Aree protette delle Alpi Marittime in collaboration with the photo lab Imprimere-Stampa Fine Art di Boves and with the support of the cultural association Il Cuneo - Eventi, Arte, Cultura.

It will be open for visits on June 25, during July and August and until September 17 at the Visitors and information centre of Parco naturale delle Alpi Marittime in Vernante (CN).

 

Thursday, 11 May 2017 15:24

The AlpWeek 2016 report is now online!

The report of the fourth AlpWeek, held in October 2016 in Grassau (D), has been published. The focus of the AlpWeek was on demography, culture and quality of life. 

Furthermore, in the frame of the event a video titled “What about cooperation in the Alps?”  has been made. Via several interviews with key actors involved in the Alps-wide cooperation,  the video presents how the Alpine cooperation works,  and identifies the actors involved as well as the challenges and opportunities. The video is available in English and in all Alpine languages on the AlpWeek Youtube channel.

ALPARC had a strong presence through its actions: in the frame of the Alpine Convention’s work group for ecological connectivity, two new pilot regions were nominated, Achental (D) and Mont-Blanc Ecoregion (FR), a workshop dedicated to the pilot regions: “Development of a short- to mid-term strategy for the pilot regions”, was organised, and a cooperation memorandum was signed between ALPARC, DANUBEPARKS (Danube network of protected areas) and CNPA (network of protected areas of the Carpathians).

To better promote the project and ecological connectivity, three videos have been made; they’re available on our YouTube channel.

To read the complete report of the AlpWeek 2016, click here.

Published in News from the Alps

A sunny day somewhere in the Swiss Engadin valley. Cries and laughter come from a group of usually stressed managers in a medium-sized Swiss company handling unusual tools for them: motor saws, brush cutters, and forks. The group is participating in a “nature day” event, a team building session where they participate in nature protection activities under the supervision of local farmers and biologists. Their activities of clearing meadows from bushes and trees contribute to safeguarding important habitats for specific plants and animals and improving ecological connectivity. The farmers involved in the project benefit from important additional work power and they get paid for hosting and overseeing the activities of the group. 

This example is one of the numerous measures carried out to improve the functional links between habitats by the Alpine Pilot Regions for Ecological connectivity that were presented during the 2 Workshops that took place in the Eastern and Western Alps in March 2017.

The project partners of the GreenConnect project will now analyse in more detail the possible positive socio-economic effects of such activities in the concerned regions. The project should allow a widening of the approach to the topic of ecological connectivity by adding a social and economic dimension to the dialogue and provide additional arguments for the exchanges with the (local) stakeholders.           

The results of this analysis will be presented at the project’s final conference in autumn 2017.

 

By the end of the year, the Bavarian Parliament will express its opinion on the adjustments to the Regional Development Programme (Landesentwicklungsprogramm, LEP) and notably on the modification of the Alpine Plan (Alpenplan) that is an integral part of it.

Last autumn the issue of the modification of the Alpine Plan was raised by another consultation. On that occasion, two municipalities expressed their favor of such a modification in order to allow the construction of a connection between two ski resorts in the area of the Riedberger Horn.

Before proceeding with the modification, the Bavarian Parliament has called for two public consultations. The first one took place on 27th April and mostly involved experts. Land use, infrastructures, the relationship between urban and rural areas and the extent of autonomy for the local authorities are among the main topics discussed during the consultations. The second public hearing the Bavarian Parliament has called for is scheduled on 22nd June and will consult minorities.

ALPARC takes a very critical view of the modification and the “softening” of the Bavarian Alpine Plan which has been for several decades one of the most serious management and spatial planning tools in the entire Alps.

Further information concerning the topic can be found here, on the website of the Bavarian Parliament.

 

Further reads

Job, H., Mayer, M., & Kraus, F. (2014). The best idea Bavaria has ever had: the alpenplan. Land use planning of vision/Die beste idee, die bayern je hatte: der alpenplan. Raumplanung mit Weitblick. GAIA-Ecological Perspectives for Science and Society, 23(4), 335-345.

Published in News from the Alps

The registration for the 12th edition of the international photo contest “Fotografare il Parco” is open. The contest is organized by the Stelvio, the Gran Paradiso, the Abruzzo, Lazio e Molise and the Vanoise National Parks.

The four protected areas are glad to welcome all those visitors passionate about photography and nature who would like to take pictures of the biodiversity heritage of the national parks and who want to show their work to the large public.

The winners will be awarded high level instruments for nature observation and photography, printing discounts, weekends in the parks and subscriptions to magazines.

The participation is free of charge and the registration is open until 30th of September 2017.

For further information about the contest and its rules, visit the website here.

 

The contest is organized with the financial support of Swarovski Optik Italia and the support of Alparc and Federparchi.

 

 

On July 11th 2017, several groups of young people will gather in different places all over the Alps and the Carpathians to share a collective experience in the mountains

 

Back to Nature in the Mountains

When was the last time you watched the stars in an unpolluted sky, lying on the grass of a mountain valley or summit, with the sound of the wind blowing through the trees and of a river flowing?

A lot of young people may have no answer to this question, because they have never had such an experience. Nowadays, young people are overwhelmed by the need for technologies in a fast-paced society and they hardly ever have the chance to live an authentic experience in a natural environment. Their relationship with nature and the mountains, which is important for their personal growth and fulfilment, is being weakened.  The mountains need young people to be preserved as much as young people need the mountains to rebuild or strengthen that connection with nature.

The international project Youth at the Top aims at improving the connection between young people and nature by bringing them to the mountains to spend a day together and sleep there overnight. For this reason, Youth at the Top is a unique opportunity for young people to experience close contact with the mountain environment, rediscover the power of being a group and the values of active citizenship and solidarity on a common annual date. Youth at the Top is a collective activity with a strong symbolic and imaginative approach. 

 

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Youth at the Top 2017

The 3rd edition of Youth at the Top will be held on Tuesday 11th July 2017 – Wednesday 12th July 2017. We have received registration forms for more than 50 events that will take place simultaneously in different locations. These local events will be set up by protected areas, youth workers, associations, refuges, communities and other mountain actors with the participation of local professionals.

 

Transnational, cross-border and unifying

The events planned will take place in 6 countries in the Alps (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland) and 3 countries in the Carpathians (Poland, Romania, Slovakia) in a common framework that still leaves plenty of room for local partners to develop their own initiative and creativity. The simultaneity of the events and the common framework will help to create in the young participants not only a sense of belonging to the mountains, but also a sense of being part of a large community with no borders.

Innovation: The Alps in my backpack

As we are constantly looking for innovation this year all the partners involved in the initiative will receive the “The Alps in my backpack” teaching tool. The tool has been designed and developed by the ALPARC Educational Working group on “Mountain-Oriented Education”. For the educators it will be a powerful tool to further promote the international approach of the initiative, foster the sense of community and raise awareness of the natural and cultural Alpine heritage. 

 

Continuity with Youth at the Top 2016

In 2016 many young people experienced authentic contact with nature by taking part in the 2nd edition of “Youth at the Top”. For the occasion protected areas, associations, mountain actors and other organizations set up more than 40 events in 8 different countries in the Alps and the Carpathians. Their effort in the field of education and in engaging young generations was rewarded with the participation of more than 500 young people who enjoyed different activities in the mountains such as fauna & flora observation, rock painting, land art, writing, wood carving, light painting, storytelling, treasure hunting, stargazing, climbing, solidarity actions and meetings with mountain players.

Young participants from Youth at the Top 2016 are the best testimonials to prove that striking up or renewing the relationship of youngsters with nature is not just necessary and possible, but it is also great fun

For this reason, we invite you to check out the video of YAT 2016 to have a taste of what the previous edition was for them!

anteprima YAT 2016

Have a look at the postcards collection to have an overview of their impressions. 

 

YOUTH AT THE TOP is a project led by ALPARC, in partnership with Educ’Alpes for France. For this activity ALPARC has the financial support of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment and the Principality of Monaco.

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