Permanent Secretariat

An effective coordination of the Alpine countries requires a reference point, which is why the Contracting Parties decided to set up the Permanent Secretariat.

The Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention was established by a decision taken at the VII Alpine Conference in Merano/Meran in November 2002 (document VII/2)*.

The Permanent Secretariat supports the bodies of the Alpine Convention. It offers professional, logistic, and administrative help and assists the countries in carrying out the actions required by the Convention and its Protocols. The Permanent Secretariat was set up in 2003 and sits in Innsbruck (AT) (political-administrative duties), with a branch office in Bolzano/Bozen (IT) (technical-operational duties). The location of the Permanent Secretariat's seat was chosen on the basis of an international tender published by the Italian presidency.

The Permanent Secretariat is mentioned in Article 9 of the Framework Convention.

What does the Permanent Secretariat do?

  • Administrative and technical support to the bodies of the Alpine Convention. 
  • Public relations (communicating and disseminating information about the Convention, its Protocols and their achievements). 
  • Co-ordination of the Alpine research projects.
  • Facilitating the implementation of the Convention and the compliance with its protocols.
  • System for the Observation and Information on the Alps (SOIA).
  • Translating and interpreting. 


* courtesy English translation provided by the Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention 

Secretary Generals of the Alpine Convention


Term of office

Alenka Smerkolj2019 - present
Markus Reiterer2013 - 2019
Marco Onida2007 - 2013
Ruggero Schleicher-Tappeser2005 - 2006
Noël Lebel2003 - 2005

The Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention promotes the organisation of Alpine Convention events as green events.

The Alpine Convention strives for all its events to be organised according to high sustainability standards – e.g. as "green events". 

What is a green event? 

Green events are events designed, organised, and carried out using sustainability criteria and measures, contributing to strengthening the economy of a territory and taking social aspects into account. The organisation of events and meetings has environmental repercussions in all its components (choice of participants' travel, catering, printing and distribution of materials, waste, etc.). 

How to organise your event as an Alpine Convention Green Event? 

If there are no local, regional or national green event certifications, or if the implementation of the measures entails disproportionate expenditures for the organisers, the Permanent Secretariat offers organisers the possibility to apply for the “Alpine Convention Green Event” label for their events organised in the framework of the Alpine Convention.  

In order to obtain this label, please follow these steps: 

  • Check if a local, regional or national green event certification can be used for your event. If not, contact the Permanent Secretariat as early as possible to let us know your intention to make your event a green event. 
  • Download the checklist.
  • If you fulfil at least half of the measures foreseen for each of the categories listed then send it to the Permanent Secretariat, which will provide an evaluation and the logo “Alpine Convention Green Event” if successful. 
  • Put the “Alpine Convention Green Event” logo on the main advertising material of the initiative (e.g. programme, agenda, poster, flyer, webpage).
  • Send relevant offers to the Permanent Secretariat (e.g catering, transportation, technical equipment, etc.), to show the implementation of the measures.
  • Have a good green event and do not forget to communicate the sustainable measures implemented to the participants of your event, thus raising people's awareness of these issues and opportunities! 
  • Within one month after the event, send a final report in English to the Permanent Secretariat describing the measures taken accompanied by pictures and a copy of promotion materials.



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