From the 30th of November to the 1st of December, the Chairs of the Thematic Working Bodies of the Alpine Convention and further representatives of the Contracting Parties met in Mutters/Innsbruck, Austria, for a joint workshop.
The workshop was jointly hosted by the outgoing Swiss and incoming Slovenian Presidency of the Alpine Convention and co-organised by Slovenia and the Permanent Secretariat. It was the first in-person meeting of the Chairs since the start of the pandemic, with three previous workshops held online.
The aim was to further the contribution of the Thematic Working Bodies to the programme of the Slovenian Presidency, especially to the upcoming Tenth Report on the State of the Alps (RSA 10), dedicated to Quality of Life in the Alps, as well as to encourage synergies between the groups, bearing in mind the new Multi-Annual Work Programme 2023-2030.
After warm welcoming words by Secretary General Alenka Smerkolj and Permanent Committee Chair Emil Ferjančič, the Chairs were given an overview of the programme of the incoming Slovenian Presidency, including the priority areas of environmental education and biodiversity and delving more in-depth into the RSA 10. The respective perceptions of quality of life were discussed, and the day concluded with an informal networking dinner.
On the second day, the participants split into two groups. Country representatives discussed first strategic and technical questions of the RSA 10 to prepare the work of the ad hoc Working Group in charge of its elaboration.
The other Chairs took part in a dynamic exchange with each other, discussing their previous and new mandates and exploring possible synergies between their groups. Many ideas emerged, such as combining envisaged workshops on topics of common interest. A resounding message was the importance of communicating their work to the broader public (stay tuned for an upcoming social media series in the new year!)
“It was inspiring to attend the workshop and see how the Thematic Working Bodies of the Alpine Convention are building up their community. I look forward to working with the Chairs and members in the next two years and seeing how their engagement contributes to the Multi-Annual Work Programme for a sustainable Alpine future. I am also very pleased to see the new Report on the State of the Alps taking shape, on such a meaningful topic as Quality of Life in the Alps,” said Alenka Smerkolj.
The event was certified as a “Green Event Tyrol”, compliant with its strict sustainability criteria for events.