This year's CAA General Assembly, originally planned in Ljubljana/Slovenia, took place online on 11 September due to the travel difficulties associated with Corona.
The election of Elmar Knoll (Alpenverein Südtirol) as new member of the CAA Executive Board has been brought forward in the agenda. Georg Simeoni was no longer available for a further term in the CAA after four years on the Board and eight years as Chairman of the Commission and huts and trails. A due personal thank you to Simeoni is to be made up the next meeting of the members in presence. Simeoni remains attached to the CAA as AVS President.
Following the usual approvals of the reports and annual plans of the Board and the three CAA commissions, the delegates discussed more intensively before its adoption the update of the joint position paper on "Pedelecs/E-mountain bikes", which after a complex coordination process is a fairly general compromise, but also a common reference and basis for the CAA member associations. An update of the tool "Energy Efficiency in mountain huts” has also been decided: it has been applied for several years primarily to DAV huts in connection with modifications and new buildings.
In addition, an update of the joint recommendations "Mountain biking - safe and fair" was adopted, in which E-mountain biking was integrated. Following a resolution of the General Assembly, the CAA Nature Conservation Commission will now develop social media visuals to contribute to the a critical addressing of the negative aspects of „instagrammability“.
It was also decided that in future the CAA General assembly should in principle take place in the spring in order to be able to facilitate the preparation of applications on the initiative of the commissions. The next General meeting is now planned for 13/14 May 2022 in Ljubljana.
The evening before, some delegates discussed the relevance of the Alpine Convention and the role of the CAA as an official observer. To this end, a strategy is to be developed in the coming months.
On the initiative and under coordination of the Austrian Alpine Club, the Alpine associations united in the CAA have published an illustrated leaflet on the topic of "Encounters with wolves". With short texts and humorous drawings, the leaflet provides general guidance and recommendations to contribute to safety when encountering wolves and in the presence of livestock guardian dogs.
Like the bear, the wolf has been re-colonising parts of the Alps for several years. Although encounters are very unlikely for humans, fears are widespread. The leaflet concentrates on short facts and takes a neutral position. It is mainly aimed at mountaineers and hikers, informs about the characteristics and protection status of the wolf and gives tips on how to behave.
The leaflet is printed by the alpine associations as a fanfold and is available as a download and for self-printing on DIN A 4 as a DIN long leaflet.
The Nice Côte d’Azur metropolitan area was meant to host the AlpWeek Intermezzo “Youth & Climate” this year. However, in response to evolving health conditions, the organisation committee has decided to make this event completely virtual. Field visits will be adapted to comply with this format as far as possible.
The conference will take place via Zoom. A link will be sent to you by email a few days in advance of the event.
This event is free of charge, by registration only until 1st December 2020.
Further information on www.alpweek.org
At the invitation of the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC), the presidents (or their representatives) of the CAA member associations met on 12.9. at the Hotel Kreuz and in the spacious Kursaal Congress Centre in Bern. The main point of discussion on the agenda was a motion to merge the CAA, which operates throughout the Alps, with the European Mountaineering Association (EUMA). It was decided that a working group consisting of representatives of both federations should start work by the end of 2020 and examine and prepare this merger by 2023, while ensuring that the most important tasks of both federations are fulfilled.
It was also agreed to adopt joint recommendations on "Safe Snowshoeing" and that the CAA would finance the extension of the existing online reservation system for huts, used by the majority of CAA associations, to include an availability check for multi-day tours.
In future, all three CAA commissions will also deal with climate change and the implementation of the CAA climate strategy (from 2018). The nature conservation commission KONSAR will draw up a collection of recommendations for climate-friendly mobility and have them illustrated.
In addition, as usual, the annual plans and reports of the executive board and commissions as well as the budget had to be adopted. Furthermore, Heinz Frei (SAC) was re-elected for a second term of office after four years on the CAA executive board.
The CAA has reissued last year's DAV/ÖAV/AVS flyer "Bedbugs hike with" and the guide with recommendations for hut teams. The files are available in German, Italian, French an Slovenian, the flyer is also available in English.
Printing and distribution of the printed publications is done by the CAA member associations. Here the PDFs are available for download, print files on request.
Recently the leaflet "Hiking in bear areas" was completed in four alpine languages + English. It contains behavioural tips for hikers staying in areas of the Alps where bears live or roam. You can download the leaflet and/or print it printed on both sides and fold it DIN long. It is based on a bilingual brochure of the Alpenverein Südtirol and was adapted for all CAA associations at the request of the CAA Commission for Nature Protection and Alpine Spatial Planning (KONSAR).
On September 14, the CAA General assembly elected Dr. Nicole Slupetzky, Vice-President of the ÖAV, as President of the CAA after the second term of office of Klaus-Jürgen Gran, President for many years, had ended. In addition, Ludwig Wucherpfennig, former DAV Vice President, now completes the Executive Board, in which a position was vacant for two years.
The presidents and managing directors of the CAA member associations met for this year's general meeting at the invitation of the German Alpine Association (DAV) at the Haus des Alpinismus in Munich. In addition to the important elections, the meeting decided on a "collaborating membership" of the CAA in the European Union of Mountaineering Associations EUMA with the aim of regular exchange and the use of synergies.
The agenda also included the adoption of updated joint rules on safe indoor climbing, new recommendations on bouldering outdoors and a new version of the position paper on mountain sports and risks involved, all of which had been prepared by the CAA mountaineering commission. The CAA will also finance posters with illustrations on "Bouldering Indoor and Outdoor", following the recent "Safe Climbing" poster.
Other requests concerned a joint leaflet "Hiking in bear areas", which the CAA Nature Conservation Commission will develop from an existing AVS folder, and the assumption of interpreter costs for the forthcoming meetings of an international working group involving the DAV for the development of a CEN standard for material ropeways with limited passenger transport, which will benefit all CAA associations.
As usual, the General Assembly also approved the reports and annual plans of the Board and the Commissions, as well as the annual accounts and budget.
This time, only information was provided on the subject of the Alpine Convention, less discussion took place. In particular, the planning for the next Alpweek and the CAA's participation in it are complicated by the still undecided situation regarding the location and date of the next Alpine Conference in France at the end of 2020 or beginning of 2021.
The day before, numerous delegates had already taken the opportunity to visit the anniversary exhibition of the DAV "Die Berge und wir" (The mountains and us) in the Alpine Museum and participated in a short discussion round to prepare the decision on the CAA's collaborative membership in the EUMA.
The conclusion of the general assembly was the farewell of Klaus-Jürgen Gran as CAA president of many years, who was honoured by the board members Heinz Frei and Georg Simeoni with warm words of thanks and various gifts.
At the beginning of April the "Alpweek-Intermezzo" took place in Innsbruck parallel to the 15th Alpine Conference with a political dialogue on the 3rd and project presentations on the 4th of April. Here you can download the report of the event, in which the CAA was a partner.
Both annual meetings took place this year in June in South Tyrol at the invitation of the AVS. The mountaineering commission already met in Tramin on 6/7 June. There was intensive discussion about common recommendations for bouldering outdoor and also the recommendations for indoor climbing and the position paper "Mountain sports and risk" were updated. As before, no conclusive solution was found for the "Emergency Hotline", which all CAA associations are supposed to provide assistance with accidents during club tours abroad. As always, the programme also included a comprehensive exchange of information and experience on the topics of mountaineering, training and safety.
On 25/26 June 2019, the CAA Commission of huts and trails met in the Dreischuster Hut in the Sesto Dolomites. The focus was on the exchange on numerous topics such as damages to huts and paths, lack of personnel on huts, the importance of huts and paths as part of tourist infrastructure, steering concepts for e-mountain bikes, safety in winter rooms, accidents with grazing livestock and last but not least the topic "bedbugs". In addition, there were reports on the current status of the development of a CEN standard for material ropeways, the preparation of which is to be supported by the CAA, as well as the implementation of the online reservation system and the project "Energy efficiency in huts".
From 11 to 13 April, at the invitation of the DAV, the CAA Nature Conservation Commission met at the Centre for Environment and Culture (ZUK) in Benediktbeuern. In addition to an extensive exchange of information and experience on current focuses and projects in the associations, the main topics on the agenda this time were "big predators" and "common tools". For example, the Commission decided to adapt an already published folder of the Alpine Association South Tyrol with tips for mountain hikers for an encounter with bears to become a common tool for all CAA associations. In addition, DAV and SAC presented implementation examples of the CAA climate strategy and the CAA reported on current events in the context of the Alpine Convention. On the last morning, an excursion to the moor area near the Benediktbeuern monastery rounded off the meeting.
From 2 until 4 April 2019, the delegations of the alpine states, the ministers and observers met for the Permanent Committee (PC 67) and the 15th Alpine Conference in Innsbruck. Main topics were climate change and soil preservation. Additonally, as a stage to the next Alpweek, the "Alpweek Intermezzo" took place, at the same time as Alpine Conference and the conclusion of the Austrian Presidency of the Alpine Convention. Now France took over the Presidency for the next two years. The CAA was one of the "Intermezzo"- partners, also the ÖAV was involved, presenting the campaign “Unsere Alpen” of DAV, ÖAV + AVS.
The Alpine Conference approved a political declaration concerning climate change and, a bit more concrete, the so called climate target system, which was developed by the “Alpine climate advisory board” during the last two years The next step is to develop concrete measures from the objectives.
Regarding the topic soil preservation the Alpine Conference approved the report of the Compliance Committee with its rather ambitious and far-reaching recommendations developed during the last three years. The states now are asked “to take all necessary steps to implement the recommendations, and to ensure the dissemination of recommendations to municipalities and regional planning levels”. They have to report about the implementation in April 2024 (to the Compliance Committee).
Additionally the Alpine Conference adopted a work plan until the next Alpine Conference, coordinated and related to the MAP (multiannual work programme). This includes the results of the reorganization of the WGs and platforms, with which the PC dealt extensively last year. The number of WGs and PFs has been reduced and aligned with the MAP, the multiannual work programme.
Some observer organisations, including the CAA, had formulated urgent "concerns to strengthen the Alpine Convention" to the ministers in advance, with which they urged a faster and more concrete implementation of the Alpine Convention. The concerns were noted by the conference and will hopefully be taken up and discussed at the next meetings of the Permanent Committee.
The term of office of General Secretary of the Alpine Convention, Markus Reiterer, ends in June. The Alpine Conference now nominated Mrs Alenka Smerkolj, former Slovene Minister responsible for Development, Strategic Projects and Cohesion and Minister of Finance. She’s also professor for French and Spanish at the University of Ljubljana.
On Wednesday, 3.4., about 60 participants developed political demands within the framework of a closed event, which were presented to the environment ministers of the Alpine countries on 4 April 2019. They dealt with the three topics of land and landscape, climate change and mobility:
"Value the landscape - don’t sell it cheap!" was the first postulation. Clear boundaries are needed to preserve the unique natural environment of the Alps and criteria for identifying areas worthy of protection. Demand two dealt with climate change, which needs to be tackled at all levels. Climate protection and adaptation takes place at local level, so communities need better support both financially and organisationally. It was also emphasised that regional and alpine-wide initiatives must be better networked in order to make better use of existing knowledge.
The third demand to the Alpine Convention stated: "Implement efficient mobility solutions throughout the Alpine region". The high traffic load of the Alpine valleys requires intelligent measures to promote a switch to public transport and alternative mobility solutions. The participants' ideas ranged from a better-timed and cheaper public transport service to mobile ticketing and the expansion of combined transport systems.
In the public part of the "Alpweek Intermezzo" on Thursday, 4.4., the Tyrolean photographer Lois Hechenblaikner took a critical look at current developments in Alpine tourism in his photo presentation. Natael Fautrat from Chambéry sketched out a vision for the future of the Alps from the perspective of young people.
The rest of the day was dedicated to good ideas: Presentations and market stands invited the participants to discuss initiatives from the Alpine region that are already being implemented. In the end, cabaret artist Markus Koschuh summed up the conference in an entertaining and provocative poetry slam: "We never want more! Because the tears of the Alps are the mudflows and avalanches, so it hardly takes roads, but rails. Happiness in the Alps: no step forward, one step back."
The event was rather successful with engaged discussions and good feedback. A documentation will be available in the near term on the website www.alpweek.org.
The CAA (Club Arc Alpin) invites you to save the date for the:
Tomorrow in the Alps
on 3-4 April 2019 in Innsbruck, Austria
Like its bigger sister, the quadrennial AlpWeek, Alpweek Intermezzo is an international event on sustainable development and related Alpine issues, jointly organised by key Alpine organisations. The 2019 edition of the event is conceived as a lunch to lunch conference which will bring the main Alpine stakeholders together to meet and exchange views on the topic “Tomorrow in the Alps”.
AlpWeek Intermezzo will start on 3 April 2019 with a political discussion (on invitation only) on relevant topics for the future of the Alpine Region. The outcomes of this exchange will be brought to the attention of the Alpine Conference the next day. On 4 April, we invite you to a project showcase featuring inspiring stories on the topic “Tomorrow in the Alps”, followed by interactive market stands.
Organisers: Alliance in the Alps; Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention; Interreg Alpine Space programme; Alpine town of the year association; CIPRA International; Club Arc Alpin; Österreichischer Alpenverein; ISCAR; WWF
Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism, Austria
More information will be available soon!
On 8 September, at the invitation of the CAI, the presidents or vice-presidents and managing directors of the CAA member associations met at this year's general meeting in the "Museo Nazionale della montagna" on the Kapuzinerberg in Turin. The day before, the Alpine Convention and the role of the CAA as its observer had already been the subject of a lively discussion. The CAA had previously questioned its member associations about this in detail and had now presented the results. A work programme is now to be developed from the proposals contained therein.
The representatives of the member associations also adopted new, joint recommendations "Safe Bouldering Indoor" as well as updates to the recommendations on safe ski touring, alpine tours, via ferratas and mountain hiking proposed by the Mountaineering Commission. The political climate demands and the climate change strategy of the CAA were revised and adopted. After 8 years, Franco Capraro's second term of office on the CAA's Executive Board ended: he was discharged with warm thanks. His successor was Antonio Zambon, long-serving mayor of Budoia, who in 1997 was a founding member of the Alliance in the Alps network of municipalities for the implementation of the Alpine Convention at municipal level. The two auditors Gislar Sulzenbacher (AVS) and Alois Schnider (LAV) were elected for a second term of office.
As the last of the three CAA commissions, the Commission held this year's annual meeting as a guest of the CAI on 18 + 19 June at the Schlernhaus in South Tyrol. As always, the focus was on the exchange of information and experience, especially on the topics of "mountain biking on paths" and "huts and paths as part of the tourist infrastructure". In addition, the current status of the CEN standard for material ropeways, the online reservation system and the implementation of the "Energy efficiency in huts" project were reported. Also an exchange about a possible common hut data base took place again. The new Chairman Miro Erzen also suggested, among other things, that an additional meeting of the Commission be held in the autumn of each year in order to speed up the progress of joint projects. This is the aim now, even though the Commissioners' time resources are very limited.
In addition to the exchange of representatives of the member associations about their respective current main focuses of work and projects, this time one focus of the meeting was on the discussion and partial revision of the recommendations on various mountain sports adopted in recent years. New joint recommendations have also been developed for bouldering. Other topics included a poster "Safe indoor climbing" and the cooperation with MountainSafety.info.
From 26-28 April 2018, the CAA Commission for Nature Protection and Alpine Spatial Planning (KONSAR) met in Bern at the invitation of the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC).
This year, the exchange on current activities of CAA member associations in the field of nature conservation was at the centre of the agenda: topics such as the increasing pressure to develop through tourism and energy, motorised leisure traffic, but also the designation of quiet game zones as well as the handling of wild animals or projects for the protection of biodiversity concern most of the Alpine associations. The Commission also discussed updating the common positions on climate change. Information was also provided on the current self-reflection process at the Alpine Convention. On Saturday morning, the group went on a guided excursion with specialist forestry information in the Gantrisch Nature Park.
On September 16th the presidents and directors of the CAA member associations met for the General assembly 2017 in Malbun/Liechtenstein, following the invitation of the Alpine Club Liechtenstein.
Following the agenda the delegates approved different papers:
- 10 recommendations "Safe climbing (Indoor)", prepared by the CAA commission of mountaineering, training and safety.
- Revisions of the positions concerning Via ferratas and the value of landscape, updated on initiative of the commission of nature protection and alpine spatial planning.
- A new position concerning Pedelecs/E-Bikes, which was developed jointly by the three CAA commissions.
Furthermore was decided about the cost sharing for the development of a CEN standard for material ropeways with limited passenger transportation which is in preparation by an international commission under participation of the German Alpine Club (DAV).
Regarding the online reservation system, for which the CAA made a start-up financing, the current state of the project was reported. The extended system is successfully in use in about 200 SAC, DAV, ÖAV and AVS huts. CAI and PZS are interested in the system, too.
The issues Alpine Convention and Macro-regional strategy for the Alps (EUSAlP) this time were discussed rather shortly, but the importance of the CAA as observer of the Alpine Convention was stressed. But it was also critically noted that not only the NGOs, but also the Alpine Convention has little influence in the framework of EUSALP.
Since already on the day before was discussed comprehensively about the future of the CAA after the planned foundation of the european mountaineering association EUMA, during the General assembly was made only a summary of this discussion. The CAA in the short term should further exist as indipendent organisation and concentrate on the Alpine Convention and the commissions.
As usual the reports and annual plannings of the board and the commissions as well as annual accounts and budget were approved.
Oskar Wörz (ÖAV), CAA-Vicepresident, stepped down from his office for personal reasons. Georg Simeoni (AVS), longstanding chairman of the CAA commission of huts and trails, was elected for the board. Before, Miro Erzen (PZS), dismissed from the board after three years, because he took over the chairmanship of the commission of huts and trails. Wörz was discharged by the delegates with hearty thanks.
The CAA commission of mountaineering met on June, 8+9, on invitation of the SAC in Berne (CH). Under the chair of Michael Larcher (ÖAV) it developed 10 recommendations for Climbing (indoor). Besides the commission focused on the intensive exchange about activities and projects of the associations and discussed about an emergency hotline as well as with the topic "short rope".
Furthermore the commission spoke about the draft of the position "Pedelecs/E-bikes" and sent it afterwards with comments to the hut commission. The hut commission met on June, 19+20, on the Höllentalanger hut (D).
The changed and adapted draft now -after a further editing- will be sent to the board and the General assembly. In this case for the first time a position has been developed by all the three expert commissions.
The hut commission additionally had an exchange about the current state of the Online reservation system for huts, about the usage of the tool of the project "Energy efficiency on mountain huts" and about the state concerning a CEN standard for material ropeways. About the presentation of barrierfree accessability in tour portals was discussed, too. A successor for the - after two terms of office - leaving chairman Georg Simeoni still wasn't found, this will be organised within the next weeks.
On invitation of AVS the commission of nature protection and alpine spatial planning (KONSAR) met in Bolzano on April, 21-23.
Under the chair of Marie-Laure Tanon (FFCAM) the comission discussed in detail about updates of the common positions on climate change, the value of landscape and via ferratas. The latter will be finished in the follow-up. Furthermore the commission dealt with the draft of a position concerning mountainbiking with pedelecs which will be dicussed afterwards also by the other two CAA commissions. Besides, as always the exchange about the numerous nature protection activities of the CAA associations was an important agenda point, as well as the information about the current news of the Alpine Convention and EUSALP and the planned foundation of the european mountaineering association EUMA.
The programme of the meeting concluded on sunday morning with an excursion to the lakes of Montiggl with expert explanations about the special mixed forest.
Held under the slogan “Alps & People”, the fourth edition of AlpWeek was dedicated to the many aspects of the connections between the Alps and the people who live, work and spend their spare time there.
We are pleased to inform you that the AlpWeek report is now available on the event website www.alpweek.org. This report includes a short summary on the outcomes of the event for each of the three topics: demography, culture and quality of life.
It also opens perspectives for the next AlpWeek.
As developed in the conclusions, ambitious political strategies must be developed, to find convincing solutions to the challenges faced by the Alpine society. These can be developed from the initiatives of civil society and of local and regional administrative bodies, then further promoted through co-operation and networking. This will require a political and social dialogue, as sought by various alpine stakeholders, amongst which the Alpine Convention, the Alpine Space programme and numerous civil society organisations. With its open character and highly differing exchange opportunities, the AlpWeek offered a chance for such a dialogue.
Here the link to the video which illustrates the special atmosphere of the AlpWeek. .
Thank you all for having contributed to the success of AlpWeek 2016!
AlpWeek was jointly organised by:
Alliance in the Alps; Alpine Convention; Alpine Space programme; Association Alpine Town of the Year; CIPRA International; Club Arc Alpin (CAA); ISCAR Alpine Research; Ökomodell Achental.
Please find here the cooperation video.
With the financial support of:
German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety;
Bavarian State Ministry for the Environment and Consumer Protection.
On September 17th the delegates of the CAA’s member associations – presidents and directors – met for the General assembly 2016 in Innsbruck, following the invitation of the Austrian Alpine Club.
The delegates approved a recommendation concerning belay devices for sport climbing, which the commission for mountaineering had prepared before, as well as a common position concerning artificial snow making, developed by the commission for nature protection and alpine spatial planning.
Regarding the online reservation system, for which the CAA made a start-up financing, the current state of the project was reported. The extended system is ready for operation since July 2016 and already in use in numerous SAC, DAV and ÖAV huts. The development of an e-payment solution is progressing. At the moment the system is in possession of SAC, DAV, ÖAV and AVS. Further associations can take it over and adapt it later.
For the use of the tool developed in the framework of the CAA project “Energy efficiency on mountain huts” a training course for persons responsible for huts was already held, in order to ensure a practical application of the tool, which allows an assessment of building and restoration measures.
The issues Alpine Convention, Alpweek 2016 and Macro-regional strategy for the Alps (EUSLAP) were discussed in the presence of the General Secretary of the Alpine Convention, who stressed the importance of the alpine associations and the CAA as observer of the Alpine Convention. He presented the programme of the forthcoming Alpine Conference in Grassau/Bavaria and gave a preview of the plans of the following Austrian Presidency 2017/18.
The longstanding treasurer in the CAA board, Gianna Rauch, stepped down from the office on her own request and was discharged by the delegates with hearty thanks. She was succeeded by Heinz Frei, member of the SAC’s central board, who was elected unanimously.
On the day before the delegates had discussed separately about the current challenges of the alpine associations in the CAA which was intended as contribution to an exchange of experiences and to understand each other better.
Furthermore, the General Assembly discussed in detail the foundation of a European Mountaineering Association, which most of the participants consider necessary. However, there are still different ideas about the shape of such an association.
As usual the reports and annual plannings of the board and the commissions as well as annual accounts and budget were approved.
on 11-15 October 2016, in Grassau (Germany)!
Over 25 sessions and 20 market stands as well as 4 excursions await you as an opportunity to learn about current challenges and find common solutions in the fields of culture, demography, and quality of life in the Alps!
AlpWeek is an international event dedicated to new and promising prospects of sustainable development in the Alps. Organised jointly by the main alpine organisations engaged in regional and sustainable development, it is held every four years. AlpWeek 2016 is being organised under the German Presidency of the Alpine Convention.
On Oktober, 12th, the Austrian Alpine Club will present its main topic "Mountain Sports & Health" in a session.
Information and registration: www.alpweek.org.
Alliance in the Alps; Alpine Convention; Interreg Alpine Space Programme; Association Alpine Town of the Year; CIPRA International; Club Arc Alpin (CAA); ISCAR Alpine Research; Ökomodell Achental.
German ministry for environment, for nature protection, building and nuclear security, and Bavarian ministry for environment and consumer protection
Alpen & Menschen
Des Alpes & des gens
Le Alpi & la gente
Alpe & ljudje
Alps & People