The work of the Alpine Convention is divided between several organs, rather than carried out by one body. Each of them is responsible for a specific aspect of the Convention and together they contribute to its implementation.
The highest body of the Alpine Convention is the Conference of the Contracting Parties, referred to as the Alpine Conference. The responsible Ministers of the Contracting Parties and their delegates usually meet every two years. The meeting is chaired by the Contracting Party that is holding the Presidency of the Convention. As the political decision-making body, the Alpine Conference discusses the objectives and establishes the political measures for the implementation of the Alpine Convention.
The Permanent Committee of the Alpine Conference is set up as an executive body and meets usually twice a year. The Permanent Committee consists of senior delegates of the Contracting Parties. Representatives from other institutions and NGOs attend the meetings of the Permanent Committee as observers.
In 2002 the Alpine Conference established the Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention. As the operating hand of the Alpine Convention its main tasks consist of providing administrative and technical support for the implementation of the Convention and its Protocols, public relations, supporting scientific information about the Alps and the Observation and Information System for the Alps (SOIA). The Permanent Secretariat holds its main office in Innsbruck (AT) and a branch office in Bolzano/Bozen (IT). A Secretary General is appointed as the head of the Permanent Secretariat.
Thematic Working Bodies (Working Groups and Boards) are chaired by individual Contracting Parties (the presidency can also be shared between two of them) and composed of experts nominated by the Contracting Parties. The Working Groups usually work under two-year mandates and can count on the active participation of observer organizations.