Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks took over the chair of the Conference of the Parties to the Alpine Convention for the period 2015-2016 at the XIIIth Alpine Conference today. The focus of the German Presidency will be on building a green economy in the Alpine region, Hendricks said when presenting her programme of work. The programme's title is: "The Alps – a symbol of European diversity".
Minister Hendricks commented: "The German Presidency will pursue a comprehensive approach. It is important both to protect the Alps and ensure that they develop sustainably. The green economy principle will be the common thread running through all the areas we address in our programme for the Presidency."
Following a proposal put forward by Minister Hendricks the Alpine countries will jointly draw up a Report on the State of the Alps that focuses on greening the economy in the Alpine region. The goal is to firmly establish the green economy approach in all areas of activity relevant to the Alps. Other key elements of the programme include nature conservation in the Alpine region and climate action. More specifically, the programme aims to promote sustainable tourism, the introduction of electric mobility and closer cooperation between the Alpine countries on energy efficient construction.
The networks of Alpine cities and municipalities, Alpine protected areas and civil society will be important partners of the German Presidency. Hendricks stressed: "The Alpine Convention can only come into full effect in cooperation with the region’s inhabitants. We want to prepare joint projects to improve practical implementation and awareness of the Alpine Convention in the region." In this context, Minister Hendricks highlighted the EU's Alpine Space Programme 2014-2020 and the excellent opportunities it provides.
The German government sees the Alpine regions as key players in implementing the Alpine Convention. This is also why the federal government will cooperate with Bavaria in its Presidency of the Alpine Convention. Germany’s Presidency will end with the XIVth Alpine Conference on the island of Herrenchiemsee on 13 October 2016.