Event held on the sidelines of the IUCN World Conservation Congress, jointly organised by the EUSALP French presidency, the Alpine Convention French presidency and UNEP Vienna.
Alpine biodiversity and ecosystems are public goods and common heritage of mankind, yielding a number of services which societies rely on. However, this extraordinary natural heritage is extremely vulnerable to anthropogenic activities. Such activities have a major impact on Alpine biodiversity, namely land-use changes, habitat fragmentation, the excessive exploitation of resources, pollution, invasive exotic species and climate change. Urban nature is another major issue facing biodiversity.
The threat to the biosphere is greater in the Alps, a biodiversity hotspot, and biodiversity is the raw material of land economy. This, therefore, requires actions to mitigate the impact of these changes in the natural environment as well as to pre-empt future changes.
The prevention of natural risks is a condition essential to conserving the populations and economic and social development in the Alps. The mountainous areas of the Alpine region are particularly susceptible to risks and damages to private property and to infrastructure due to the convergence of a limited habitat zone and climate change here. Efforts related to economic development, social behaviour, mobility and tourism continue to take precedence over the objectives of risk reduction and prudent management, thus constituting a compelling reason for the introduction of new governance instruments, with a view to balancing requests for different uses.
The Alpine region is the water tower of Europe, and it is therefore important to ensure the quantitative and qualitative management of this water resource.
Photo: Jérôme Cabanel