Mountain agriculture forms the backbone of life in the Alps. It ensures a living for mountain people. It provides food. It shapes Alpine landscapes. It preserves traditions and knowledge. However, mountain agriculture faces numerous challenges. First and foremost, the natural conditions and structure of the Alpine territory are challenging. The Alps are characterised by a limited availability of arable land, steep slopes that make farming particularly labour-intensive, and a scarcity of infrastructure in more remote areas. At the same time the depopulation trends that characterise mountain areas in favour of cities and flat lands put an additional strain on Alpine farming.
Article 2, 2g of the Framework Convention states that the general objective for mountain agriculture is to “maintain the management of land traditionally cultivated by man and to preserve and promote a system of farming which suits local conditions and is environmentally compatible, taking into account the less favourable economic conditions”.
Protocols and Declarations
Thematic Working Bodies
Mountain Agriculture Platform (2011-2019)
Selected Documents and Publications
Position paper of the Mountain Agriculture Platform in the context of the Alpine Convention, prepared for the Mountain Farming Conference in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany (4 October 2016) - available in German, French, Italian, and Slovenian
International Conference on the Future of Mountain Agriculture in the Alps, St. Johann im Pongau (AT) (13-14 September 2017) - in German
AlpES (Alpine Space Programme) – Alpine ecosystem service mapping, maintainance and management project (2015-2018)
Alpen-Forum-Innsbruck on climate change and agriculture (2016) - in German