Researchers gather at the foot of Germany’s highest peak

Researchers from the Virtual Alpine Observatory (VAO) gathered for their first in-person meeting since 2020. The 6th VAO Symposium took place from 21 to 23 March 2023 in Grainau, Germany.

Over the three days, researchers, who work at or with the network’s observatories or partner institutions shared their insights and work. Several political representatives and other experts were invited to speak to the participants.

The symposium kicked off with a welcome speech by Dr Christian Barth from the Bavarian State Ministry for Environment and Consumer Protection (StMUV). Four keynotes followed, giving an overview of relevant European policy and research developments.

A few special guests were invited to the environmental research station Schneefernerhaus (UFS) at the top of the Zugspitze mountain. Here, the guests were given a tour of the station and gained an insight into its work.

On the second day of the symposium, Alenka Smerkolj, Secretary General of the Alpine Convention held a welcoming speech focused on the importance of research in the Alps and how valuable the VAO’s work is for the Alpine Convention.

“I am very happy that our cooperation with the VAO continues, and I look forward to collaborating in developing concrete initiatives to build a bridge between science and policymaking. This is the only way for us to continue leading the way for sustainable life in the Alps – together!” concluded Alenka Smerkolj after the conference.

The Permanent Secretariat has been an official observer to the VAO since March 2019.


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