The Alpine protected areas are united in their goal of preserving the natural heritage of the Alps and play a major role in nature conservation due to their unique ecosystems and expertise. There are nearly 1,000 protected areas in the Alps, covering a surface area of over 53,000 km2. This makes up over 28 percent of land under the jurisdiction of the Alpine Convention.
Protected areas are categorized based on their management objectives and protection status. By definition, nature conservation is the core task of protected areas. In addition, there is an increasing need for cooperation with various economic sectors such as tourism, agriculture and forestry. The focus varies depending on the protected area category and management objectives. The integration of protected areas into regional development planning is becoming increasingly important in order to maintain or increase their acceptance by the population.
APAs have a shared geographical base and values that allow them to work together on common Alpine issues. ALPARC cooperates with protected areas to implement concrete actions and projects around its three areas of work: Biodiversity and Ecological Connectivity, Regional Development and Quality of Life and Education for Sustainable Development in the Alps. ALPARC also facilitates the exchange of knowledge and shared experiences between protected areas.