The following organizations are currently official Observers and therefore participate in the work of the Permanent Committee and the Alpine Conference:
AEM was created in 1991, under the initiative of the European Parliament Intergroup on Mountains with the support of the French National Association of Elected Representatives from Mountains Regions (ANEM) and the Italian Union of Mountain Towns and Communities (UNCEM). AEM’s goal is to defend the specific characteristics of mountain territories in Europe and obtain juridical and financial recognition. The association aims at promoting an overarching policy for the sustainable and balanced development of mountain regions. AEM unites all the elected representatives from mayors to Members of the European Parliament, the regional authorities of the European mountain regions and the organisations that bring them together. In all, the association regroups, as direct or indirect members, 12,000 communities, 100 provinces and 50 regions, from 11 member states. AEM’s seat is located in Chambéry (FR) at the heart of the Alps, the association also has an office in Brussels.
The network of municipalities "Alliance in the Alps" is an association of local authorities and regions from seven Alpine states and was founded in 1997. Its members, together with their citizens, strive to develop their Alpine living environment in a sustainable way. “Exchange - Address - Implement” is the main idea behind the Alliance’s activities. The basic and guiding principle for sustainable development is the Alpine Convention. Its implementation is to come to life wherever individuals are able to shape their future – in the community.
Since 1995, ALPARC - the Alpine Network of Protected Areas - facilitates the sharing of expertise, lessons learned, techniques and methods between the managers of Alpine protected areas. The network also seeks to realise cooperation projects involving managers who want to provide consistent levels of conservation and sustainable development in the Alps in accordance with the Alpine Convention (application of the Nature conservation and landscape management Protocol).
The Alps-Adriatic Alliance was founded in 2013 as a successor of the Alps-Adriatic Working Community. It represents a completely new, dynamic, flexible and low-threshold network-structure for project-oriented cooperation in the Alps-Adriatic area. Cooperation within the framework is open to public authorities, private organizations and NGOs. Core objective is the efficient use of transnational EU-programmes for the benefit of its members. Project-oriented cooperation is carried out in the following fields: agriculture & ethnic heritage, culture, economy, energy & environment, Europe, equal opportunities, healthcare, higher education, inclusion, lifelong learning, mobility, sports and tourism.
Alpine towns which act sustainably and balanced in economic, social and environmental belongings, in line with the principles of the Alpine Convention, have been getting awarded “Alpine Town of the Year” since 1997. The awarded towns work together in the homonymous association, being composed by over a dozen of cities of all the Alpine countries.
The ARGE Alp is a working community of 10 Alpine regions with the objectives of advocacy for specific Alpine concerns, targeting central governments and European institutions and building bridges across borders in the Alpine space and strengthening the understanding between inner and extra Alpine areas.
CIPRA, the International Commission for the Protection of the Alps, is a non-governmental umbrella organisation with national representatives and one regional representative in seven Alpine countries. It represents more than 100 associations and organisations. CIPRA works towards achieving sustainable development in the Alps. It also strives to preserve the natural and cultural heritage, maintain regional diversity, and bring about solutions to cross-border problems in the Alpine region.
The CAA is the umbrella organisation of the eight leading mountaineering associations of the alpine arc with more than 2 million members. As observer of the Alpine Convention it is committed to its implementation, issues statements and represents the interests of its associations. The three commission (mountaineering, training and safety; huts and trails; nature protection and alpine spatial planning) are platforms for the exchange of information and for the development of common positions.
Euromontana is the multi-sectoral association for cooperation and development of mountain areas. Euromontana’s aim is to promote lively mountains, an integrated and sustainable development and the quality of life in mountain areas. Euromontana is active in several fields and prioritises sustainable development of mountain areas for agriculture, quality products, rural development, tourism, mobility and ICT, research and innovation, environment and climate change, energy, forests, services of general interests, youth, etc. Euromontana currently represents around 75 member organisations coming from more than 20 European countries. Since 2014 Euromontana has had a new Working Group focusing on the Alpine Convention and the EUSALP strategy.
FIANET was founded in 1958 with its registered office in France and has since then developed into a key association of the cableway operating industry. It represents the interests of the national cableway associations and of the cablecway operators (funicular railways, cable cars, gondolas, chairlifts and drag lifts) at European level. The promotion of formal and informal contacts between the national associations is as well part of the challenges as is the exchange of experience and submission of common opinions on current and transnational topics, especially on directives of the European Union.
ISCAR promotes interdisciplinary collaboration in the entire Alps in relation to Alpine research and supports also the transfer of research results into practice, ensures continuity and scientific quality of the ForumAlpinum. It raises Alpine-relevant issues and implements them in research programmes associated with mountain issues and examines research interests of the Alpine Convention and gives advice to committees of the Alpine Convention.
IUCN is the world's oldest and largest global environmental network. It is a democratic union with more than 1,000 government and NGO member organisations and some 10,000 volunteer scientists in more than 150 countries. IUCN helps the world to find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environmental and development challenges by supporting scientific research, managing field projects all over the world and bringing governments, NGOs, the UN, international conventions and companies together to develop a policy, laws and best practices.
The Alpine Space Programme is the EU transnational co-operation programme for the Alps and is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Partners from seven Alpine countries work together, to promote regional development in a sustainable way. During the period 2007-2013 the programme invested 130 million euros in more than 50 impact-oriented projects. These focused on six thematic fields: climate change, competitiveness and innovation of SMEs, inclusive growth, low-carbon economy and energy efficiency, resource efficiency and ecosystem management, and sustainable transport and mobility. The Programme continues in 2014-2020 and funds projects with the following 4 priorities: Innovative Alpine Space, Low-carbon Alpine Space, Liveable Alpine Space and well-governed Alpine Space.
The tri-national umbrella NGO ProMONT-BLANC, which consists of Alpine clubs as well as local, regional, national and international environmental organisations, has been engaged in better transfrontier protection via a management plan of the Franco-Italian-Swiss massif since 1991 and promotes the most sustainable development possible within the prosperous tourism region of “Espace Mont-Blanc”, the alliance of the 35 municipalities of the three countries around Mont Blanc.
UNEP is the United Nations system’s designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional level. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action.
WWF is one of the largest nature and environmental protection organisations in the world. WWF's mission is to conserve nature and to reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth. Its work is organised around six areas: food, climate, freshwater, wildlife, forests and oceans. WWF offers solutions for people and nature at all levels; In nature conservation projects with technical know-how as well as in political or economic decision-making processes. The focus hereby lays on the interaction between man and nature. In close exchange with communities, politicians and businesses, WWF aims at finding solutions so people and nature can thrive in harmony.