Mountain Agriculture

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

Further references to mountain agriculture can be found in the Protocols on Nature Protection and Landscape Conservation, Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development, Soil Conservation, and Tourism.

Thematic Working Bodies

Selected Documents and Publications


Sustainable Development Goals

Goal 2

Zero Hunger

Goal 1

No poverty

Goal 7

Affordable and clean energy

Goal 11

Sustainable cities and communities

Goal 12

Responsible consumption and production

Goal 15

Life on land

Goal 17

Partnerships for the goals


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