The Alpine arc links eight countries: Austria, France, Germany Italy, Liechtenstein, Monaco,
Slovenia and Switzerland. It is a home for about 14 million people and it is visited by millions
of tourists. Therefore many common challenges and questions of development have to be
discussed through a responsible international coordination of spatial planning, transport,
energy, tourism policy and other measures.
For these reasons, the Ministers of the Alpine States met from 9th – 11thOctober 1989
and decided to draft an agreement for the protection and sustainable development of the Alps.
The Convention on the Protection of the Alps, namely “The Alpine Convention“, was signed
on 7 November 1991 in Salzburg (Austria) by Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland,
Liechtenstein and the EU (Slovenia signed the convention on 29 March 1993 and Monaco
became a party on the basis of a separate additional protocol). The Convention entered into
force on 6 March 1995.
The Alpine Convention is the first convention for the protection of a mountain region
worldwide that is binding under international law: for the first time a transnational mountain
area has been considered in its geographical continuity, a common territory facing common
challenges. This is the “revolution” of the Alpine Convention. It has since then been followed
by the Carpathian Convention
. Today several other areas (Caucasus, Central Asia, Andes) look
with interest at the experience of the Alpine Convention.