In the nineties, the Alpine Convention was a pioneer of its kind by being the world’s first international treaty considering a transnational mountain area in its geographical entirety.
The Convention was signed by the eight Alpine countries: Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Slovenia and Monaco and the European Union and came into effect in 1995.
Since the Contracting Parties share a common territory with common challenges, the Alpine Convention aims at the protection and sustainable development of the Alps.
This mountain area in the heart of Europe is the natural, cultural, living as well as economic environment for more than 14 million people and a manifold number of guests per annum.
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 9– 11 October 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 (AT) by Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Switzerland 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. 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.