On 8 and 9 October 2019, Secretary General Alenka Smerkolj travelled to the Northern French Alps. At the Final Conference of the ALPBIONET2030 Alpine Space project, lead by ALPARC under the motto “Integrative Alpine wildlife and habitat management for the next generation”and of which the Permanent Secretariat is an Observer, she emphasized the value of connectivity – from ecological corridors between protected areas, to continuity of transnational action over time, to developing links between different stakeholders. Ms Smerkolj congratulated the partners from six Alpine countries for their successful work.
The Secretary General also met for the first time with Eric Fournier, Vice-President of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region and Mayor of Chamonix. At the Infopoint of the Alpine Convention in the hamlet of Argentière, they discussed the upcoming activities of the Infopoint, as well as strategies to use the Alpine Convention as a lever to support local and regional action, in particular regarding the challenges of climate change, air quality and mobility as well as in the frame of applications to the UNESCO World Heritage.
Ms Smerkolj went on to visit the Alpine Convention Infopoint of the Gran Paradiso National Park over the border in Cogne and discuss future collaboration perspectives. Finally, she was welcomed in Grenoble by the French Commissioner for the Alps, in charge of the implementation of the French Presidency of EUSALP in 2020.