Mountain Agriculture

Mountain agriculture lies at 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 characterized by a limited availability of arable land, steep slopes that make farming particularly labour-intensive and a scarcity of infrastructure in the more remote areas. At the same time the depopulation trends that characterize mountain areas in favour of cities and flat lands put an additional strain on Alpine farming.

In 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 Nature Protection and Landscape Conservation Protocol, the Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development Protocol, the Tourism Protocol and the Soil Conservation Protocol.

Thematic Working Bodies

Selected Documents and Publications


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