AlpWeek 2012 - Renewable Alps

The Alpine Space Programme and six Alpine Space projects took part in the AlpWeek 2012, 5 to 8 September 2012 in Poschiavo, Switzerland.

This page presents the Programme's Renewable Stand for Renewable Alps and interviews with the projects.



On the Alpine Space Stand, the following activities were proposed:

- Draw the borders: a whiteboard was hung on the wall with the outline of the cooperation area of the Alpine Space Programme. Visitors were invited to draw the borders between the seven participating countries. The difficulty of the exercise shows that transnational cooperation bears its fruits: the Alpine area is one unique region.

- On the way to renewable Alps, people need to renew their ideas and visions of the Alps. This was symbolised at the Alpine Space stand with origami tutorials: visitors could transform their old paper into a bus, a cloud, a windmill, a garbage bin or a sun. The cloud and the sun were by far the origami figures preferred by the children from Valposchiavo and the AlpWeek participants. Is it because they were the easiest to fold or for preference to solar energy?

- Last but not least, the participants got the occasion to feedback their point of view on what they believe should be the main thematic priorities for Alpine Space Programme during the upcoming programming period 2014-2020. The results of the 29 filled in questionnaires will be taken into account in the process of drafting the next Operational Programme.

Here some pictures, more available on Flickr.


Other than the programme activities, the projects ALPSTAR, OpenAlps and PARAmount also contributed actively to the stand. The projects' representatives as well as partners from the other Alpine Space projects having organised workshop sessions, have been interviewed on the outcomes of the event.

Read more about their impressions below! 


Alpine Space Projects @ AlpWeek - Interviews


Alexandre Mignotte, CIPRA France director, Communication responsible (interviewed) 

Jernej Stritih, ALPSTAR Legal Responsible

What did you expect from the AlpWeek?

To promote our project, to increase people's awareness on climate neutrality in the Alps and of course to discuss the topic with the participants. But, as a rule, the AlpWeek is also a great opportunity to meet a lot of people and to "feel" the current pulse of the Alps through many workshops, conferences, side-events, and through very nice discussions during coffee breaks and lunches!


What did you find the most interesting during the event?

I especially appreciated the presence and involvement of young people everywhere in Poschiavo. It was a really great idea. In addition of the very refreshing ambiance they brought in the whole village, they very concretely worked on the question of "renewable Alps".


What concrete output do you bring back home for ALPSTAR?

We have to work more on the economical and sociological conditions and means to achieve the global transition toward a renewable and sustainable society. We already have many solutions in hands (technology, governance, etc.) but they will not become "standards" as long as the global transition will not also concern our business model. Such a question has been put into light during many sessions and we can not continue to avoid it. That is perhaps not a "concrete output", nor a "scoop" but it is really what I brought back. It's the first time I heard it so clearly, widely and strongly stated. We will make our best in Alpstar to provide answers to this huge problem. For instance, the way the pilot actions are going to be set up may provide us useful elements.  


More information about ALPSTAR.



Yann Kohler, Alparc (right on the picture)

What did you expect from the AlpWeek?

The AlpWeek was for me a chance to meet all different types of actors living and working in the Alps and to present and discuss with them the most recent results and analysis of our work on ecological connectivity. Furthermore this AlpWeek was a crucial event for the network of alpine protected areas ALPARC, as in the frame of our General Assembly the protected areas decided to structure themselves as association and all protected areas present in Poschiavo signed their intention to join this future association.    


What did you find the most interesting during the event?

The concept of organising the meeting of the Permanent Committee of the Alpine Convention and the Alpine Conference, as well as various General Assemblies of alpine institutions, in parallel of the AlpWeek showed at what point all the activities of these actors are interlinked and that, in the end, they all aim at contributing to implement the Alpine Convention Protocols. We had a lot of interesting talks at our stand in the Auditorium and at the ALPARC market stand as well as during our session on the possibilities of analysing Alpine regions in view of their potential for ecological connectivity. This workshop gave us the interesting occasion to confront our GIS tool Jecami (output from ECONNECT) in the frame of a role play with the critical look of the participants of the session.  


What concrete output do you bring back home for ECONNECT?

The work on the topic of biodiversity and ecological connectivity will also be one of the three main axes of the working program of ALPARC in the coming years. The AlpWeek comforted us in the relevance of this choice and we came back with quite some concrete project ideas. Moreover, something I appreciate particularly, I got to know personally some people I only used to know from email or phone and these personal talks cannot be replaced by any way of modern communication.    


More information about ECONNECT.



Markus Berchtold, Network Enterprise Alps (NENA)

Eveline Thaler, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts - Engineering and Architecture, Switzerland                    

What were your expectations for the AlpWeek?

Present and receive input and feedback on the Enerbuild project and its follow-up which is just beginning: CABEE. We received indeed a lot of interesting inputs and feedback that will help us improve our project and diversify our activities.


What did you find the most interesting?

There was a very good atmosphere at the AlpWeek encouraging common work and exchanges. This was a very positive and productive atmosphere leading us for example to the idea of developing a common platform to present Alpine good practices and the results of different Alpine Space projects. The organisation was also good. To meet the requirements of the organisers, we had to do a substantial preparation work and this forced us to focus on some specific aspects leading to better quality exchanges. 


What do you bring back home for the CABEE project?

Some new and very relevant aspects were brought in such as the need to involve economists and lawyers in the projects dealing with energy in buildings. We heard about some interesting experiences as well for example concerning neighbourhood issues (energy exchanges and money flows and/or competition between neighbours concerning the energy performance of their buildings). These inputs and feedback will be brought to our kick-off meeting taking place on 15-16 October 2012, in Rosenheim, Germany.


More information about CABEE, ENERBUILD.



Niklas Joos-Widmer, Amt für Umweltschutz Uri, iMonitraf project manager

What did you expect from the AlpWeek?

I was hoping to raise awareness about the impact of transalpine traffic and to promote solutions such as the Alpine Crossing Exchange. It is important that the Alpine regions stand together in this issue. They need to speak with one voice in order to be heard on national and EU level. So the AlpWeek was a great opportunity to reach interested people from the whole Alpine area.

What concrete output do you bring back home for iMonitraf!?

The participants to our workshop gave us valuable feedback. They pointed out the importance of following a bottom-up approach in the issue of transalpine traffic. This means that it is essential to reach the people in the whole Alpine area and to make them be heard on all political levels.


More information about iMonitraf!.



Melanie John, IHK Schwarzwald-Baar-Heuberg, OpenAlps project manager

Elfi Bihler, IHK Schwarzwald-Baar-Heuberg

What did you expect from the AlpWeek?

Our attention was mainly focused on the opportunity to present the OpenAlps project to a broad international audience, to engage in interesting discussions, and to establish new contacts. In addition, it was important to us to take advantage of the opportunity to get in touch with representatives from other Alpine Space projects and from the programme authorities.

What did you find most interesting in the AlpWeek?

Actually, the Alps! As you know, we are Lead Partner of an Alpine Space project but ourselves situated in the Black Forest, which is adjacent to the region only.  Even though we are aware of the challenges the Alps are facing, it is something entirely different to experience "first hand" what it means to live and work in a remote valley surrounded by high mountains.

What did you bring back home for OpenAlps?

While preparing for the AlpWeek we put a lot of thoughts and effort in the task to come up with a market stand design as innovative and interactive as possible. Presenting OpenAlps at the AlpWeek was not merely an “average” fair participation but a first transnational test run for upcoming fairs and events: How was the market stand perceived by the audience? Did visitors enjoy participating in our activities? Did our stand entice people to learn more about the project?

In retrospective we are happy to say that participation at the AlpWeek left us with encouraging and useful findings on these questions which we look forward to sharing with our project partners.


More information about OpenAlps.



Günter Siegel, Bundesministerium für Land- und Forstwirtschaft, Umwelt und Wasserwirtschaft (BMLFUW), Austria. Communication responsible for the PARAmount project


What were your expectations for the AlpWeek?

Meeting people with diverse backgrounds interested in the sustainable development of mountain areas and in particular the Alpine Space.


What did you find the most interesting?

The AlpWeek offered a broad range of workshops and seminars giving the opportunity to discuss Alpine related issues in a holistic and cross-sectoral manner.


What do you bring back home for your project?

A further encouragement to strengthen efforts regarding the adaption of emerging technologies to the specific needs and conditions of the Alpine Space.


More information about PARAmount.