SearchGo Search


In October 2016, Austria officially took over the Presidency of the Alpine Convention from Germany. The Federal Minister of Sustainability and Tourism, Ms Elisabeth Köstinger is the president of the Alpine Conference.
The kick-off event of the Austrian presidency took place in Salzburg on 4 November 2016, the day was also marking the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Alpine Convention. At the event the priorities of the Austrian Presidency were highlighted: during its two-year term in office, the Presidency wants to implement the concept “Protect and Utilise”. Protection and development of the Alps go hand in hand and are not mutually exclusive. “Protect and Utilise” comprises the three key elements of sustainability: environment, economy and social concerns.   
Austria intents to leverage on past achievements and add momentum: one of its focus themes is the role of women in the mountain regions. Special attention is devoted to how women can preserve, improve and influence activities in the Alps taking into consideration environmental, economic and cultural aspects. This issue was also addressed by the representatives of mountain areas worldwide at Alpbach in April 2017, when they had the opportunity to network, exchange best practices and establish partnerships.   
Another focus theme is the future of mountain farming – an exchange of views and a discussion on the future of mountain farming in the Alps was promoted.    
In the last years, dramatic floods and landslides have shown that the Alpine area and its residents are at high risk of natural disasters. The safety of the local population is paramount and a rising challenge in the face of climate change. That is why the forthcoming Report on the State of the Alps will focus on “Risk governance of natural hazards”.   
Climate protection is another key priority. In this context, the Alpine Convention can prove a useful regional organisation and a trend-setter in Europe. In order to work on this focus theme, the Alpine Convention set up its own "Alpine Climate Board”.   
The Alpine Convention is also strengthening its cooperation with the EU macroregional strategy for the Alpine region – a new and important regional policy instrument that opens up new opportunities.   
Calendar of the events