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Dear friends and colleagues of the network ALPARC

Friday, 06 September 2013

Dear colleagues, dear friends in the Alpine protected areas,

On 18th January 2013, the „ALPARC“ association was founded with more than 30 founding members from all categories of protected areas and regional institutions. I am very pleased, and also a bit proud, about this strong interest in the now formalised structure of the Network of Alpine Protected Areas, which has already existed as an informal trans-Alpine network since 1995 also promoting the cooperation between our parks and protected areas. And it has done so across all language boundaries!

This has given us an own legal entity from this year onwards allowing us to act independently as a network and to represent the protected areas more strongly in the international arena. After many discussions about the statutes of the network, we can in particular progress more vigorously the international cooperation between protected areas and our partners with certainly new, interesting and pioneering projects for the Alps.

From the 1st January 2014, our Task Force Protected Area team, which currently still belongs to the Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention, will also be grouped under the ALPARC association and then be available as the branch office of the association as the direct contact. Up until the end of 2013 there are a number of formalities to be completed with the Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention, which we will do in a very constructive way.

The foundation for further close cooperation with the Alpine Convention has already been laid through the drafting and signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation and will now be defined in detail and implemented together with the new Secretary General of the Alpine Convention, Markus Reiterer. After all, the ALPARC network was created from its inception – on French initiative – as a contribution to implement the Alpine Convention.

I therefore look forward with great pleasure to a strong and constructive cooperation with the Alpine Convention, which should develop more concretely in the coming months and years giving our protected areas a more prominent place within the Convention in accordance with our slogan “Together for the Alps”.

I would like to take the initiative again at this point to ask all protected areas of the Alps that are not yet members of ALPARC to register with the association, in order to further increase the weight of the protected areas in the joint responsibility for the biodiversity and sustainable development of this unique area of the Alps.

Dr. Michael VOGEL, ALPARC President