Discussing the most pressing alpine challenges at AlpWeek 2022

The ecological transition is already happening in the Alps – and we are in the middle of it. To shine a light on the different aspects of transition in the Alps, the 7th edition of AlpWeek dedicated to “Alps in transition” took place in Brig-Glis (CH) from 5-7 September. 12 workshops, 4 excursions, 3 keynote speeches, 2 plenaries and a presentation of multiple youth-driven projects by young people in the context of a CIPRA Youth Council event animated over 110 participants to rethink the lifestyles in the Alps and to foster an ecologically, socially and economically sustainable transition.

Alpine Stakeholders and young people came together from all over the Alps and beyond to discuss energy, economic and agri-food transitions as well as transitions in sectors such as tourism and mobility that have a massive impact on social life and the demographic structure of Alpine communities.

For some of the participants, the AlpWeek began on Monday 5 September with a full-day excursion to the Simplon Pass, for others with an evening aperitif hosted by the municipality of Brig-Glis in the idyllic Stockalper Castle, followed by a festive evening dedicated to the celebration of 20 years of Via Alpina.

After an intense programme of sessions, the highlight of the second day was the controversial panel discussion in the evening on photovoltaics in the landscape, which also attracted many listeners from the municipality of Brig-Glis to AlpWeek and underlined, based on a concrete local case, the difficulty to balance the needs to produce renewable energy and to protect nature and landscapes.

The AlpWeek came to an end on the Wednesday, with another round of parallel workshops, a closing plenary and several excursions to the Aletsch Glacier, on Viticulture and Biodiversity and Traditional Valais Agricultural Landscapes.

All in all, engaged men and women from all over the Alps have taken to heart the urge expressed by the Secretary General of the Alpine Convention, Alenka Smerkolj in her opening video address to "learn, debate and have fun"! The Permanent Secretariat is grateful to have once more been able to work alongside committed observers of the Alpine Convention to gather the Alpine community, and acknowledges the financial support of Switzerland and the Principality of Monaco.

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