Spotlight on quality of life at the 78th Permanent Committee meeting

The Permanent Committee to the Alpine Conference held its third meeting under the Slovenian Presidency from 15 to 16 May in Maribor (SI). The discussions focussed on quality of life, the key topic of the two-year Presidency programme leading up to the next Alpine Conference in January 2025.

The Slovenian Presidency gave the Contracting Parties and Observer organisations an update on its activities, emphasising progress on implementation in the third priority area of the Alpine Convention’s Multi-Annual Work Programme (MAP) 2023–2030 “enabling a good quality of life for the people in the Alps”. Delegates discussed the draft 10th Report on the State of the Alps on Quality of Life (RSA 10). The RSA10 provides an overview of the state of research and data as well as policy recommendations for quality of life in the Alps, based on a selection of statistical indicators and an Alpine-wide survey. Further input to the topic came from two other ongoing initiatives which the Slovenian Presidency is collaborating with: the ESPON territorial study “Quality of life in the Alpine area” and CIPRA’s ERASMUS+ project “Alpine Compass”. 

The aim of the ESPON study was to produce new evidence in measuring quality of life in the Alpine Convention area at sub-national level, identifying which factors and territorial features have a stronger influence on Territorial Quality of Life in a particular territorial setting. The Alpine Compass project focuses on the empowerment of young people in the field of quality of life. Young participants coming from three Alpine countries outlined to the delegates their concrete needs for improved quality of living in the Alps and urged for corresponding political action. These two projects will also be in the focus at a side event of the AlpWeek 2024 dedicated to the implementation of the quality of life topic in policy elaboration.

The Slovenian Presidency shared the outcomes from the international conference “Schools for climate action in the Alps” in relation to its second priority area, environmental education focusing on climate change. Based on a discussion at the 76th meeting of the Permanent Committee, the international conference and 17 good practice examples of climate change education collected across the Alps, a report with draft recommendations was prepared and discussed with the delegates.

In its third priority area, biodiversity, the Presidency has been elaborating a Policy Brief containing recommendations on biodiversity in the Alps, drawing from discussions held during the 77th meeting of the Permanent Committee. Furthermore, the Presidency is organising a conference on biodiversity which will take place in conjunction with the ForumAlpinum, organised by Alpine Convention Observer ISCAR, from 12 to 14 June in Kranjska Gora. This event will serve as a platform for further discussions on the Policy Brief.

In 2025, Italy will take over the biennial Presidency of the Alpine Convention from Slovenia. The Permanent Committee meeting was therefore also an opportunity for Italy to present its preliminary programme to the delegates.

Rounding off the meeting was an update from the Permanent Secretariat on its activities in the period from 15 September 2022 to 31 December 2023. Secretary General Alenka Smerkolj presented a comprehensive overview of main projects, networking endeavours, communication activities as well as the support extended to all bodies of the Alpine Convention.

Prior to the Permanent Committee meeting, the Chairs of the Thematic Working Bodies of the Alpine Convention gathered for an interactive workshop. The aim of the workshop was to enable exchanges and updates on the state of work in all thematic bodies as well as the identification of synergies for the implementation of the MAP especially in the context of the elaboration of the new mandates. The week of activities concluded with a meeting of the Alpine Climate Board, also hosted by the Slovenian Presidency. 


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