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Presidency: Austria 

Due to the general structural change of agriculture and the related increasing exodus from farming, in recent decades mountain farming has been steadily decreasing in the entire Alpine region. This development has several consequences: primarily, the abandonment of marginal land and, at the same time, the concentration of farming in more favourable areas. 
The Alpine Convention created the Mountain Agriculture Platform at the  XI. Alpine Conference in 2011. One of the reasons for its establishment lies in the fact that farming has always played – and still plays – an essential role as a source of livelihood to maintain an adequate population density. Beside this, it provides the local population with food, typical and high quality products, it preserves and fosters the cultural landscape. It also serves touristic purposes and protects the soil from erosion, landslides and floods, especially in mountain areas.  
In the years 2017 - 2018 the main focus of the Platform is on the following three topics: 
  • Mountain farming and energy –from biomass and from other renewable energy sources;
  • Optimisation of cooperation and partnerships, as well as participation. 
  • Ecosystem services and mountain agriculture – ecological, social and political aspects.  
Mountain farming is one of the 12 main areas of intervention listed in the Alpine Convention (Article 2.) and a “Mountain Farming” Protocol was adopted for its protection. It became part of EU legislation in 2006. In addition, the Action Plan on Climate Change in the Alps mentions the role of mountain farming, as well as the challenges it faces due to climate change, and stresses the contribution of mountain farming to safeguarding the environment and to the preservation and attractiveness of Alpine areas. 
The Contracting Parties to the Alpine Convention delegate experts to be members of the Working Groups/Platforms. Observers to the Convention may also nominate representatives.  

The main objectives of the Platform are:
  • to find innovation processes that increase value creation through sustainable farming practices;
  • to support the development of new products;
  • to optimise existing cooperation models and to promote new forms of cooperation for the diversification of agricultural activities;
  • to seek ways to improve the ecologic, economic and social functions of mountain agricultural areas;
  • exchange of information;
  • to increase public awareness.

Current activities, documents, results


Past activities, documents, results

  • Statement on the Contribution of mountain agriculture to food safety in the Alpine Convention Perimeter (in DE, FR, IT, SL);
  • Position paper of the Mountain Agriculture Platform in the Context of the Alpine Convention, prepared for the Mountain Farming Conference in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (DE), 4 October 2016 (in DE, FR, IT, SL);
  • Results of the Platform's consultation in the context of quality labelling (DE, IT, FR, SL; updated with amendments on the Glyphosate and GMO issues)
  • Activity report of the Platform “Mountain Agriculture” on the 2015 – 2016 mandate (EN)
  • Mandate of the platform 2015-2016;
  • Progress report on the work of the Platform „Mountain Farming“ (2011; in DE, FR, IT, SL)
  • Results of the discussion of the PF “mountain Farming” on “marketing, quality and labelling” issues (in DE, FR, IT, SL)
  • “Sustainable mountain farming – Basis for a vibrant Alpine Region“ (in DE, FR, IT, SL)
  • Declaration on Mountain Farming: 2011 in DE, FR, IT and SL