Plenaries and keynotes are translated into DE, FR, IT, SLO

MONDAY, 5.9.2022


Half day excursion

Brig lies at 700 metres, at the starting point of the Simplon Pass (2005 m.a.s.l.), which leads across the Alpine ridge to Domodossola (300 m.a.s.l.). It has for centuries been an important transit route linking the Valais with northern Italy. With the influence of the arch-capitalist and politician Kaspar Stockalper (1609 – 1691), the old mule track became an important European trade route. It was used to transport just about anything that could fit on a pack animal and promised profit and income. Today, more than 11’000 heavy lorries with dangerous goods a year roll over the Simplon Pass, despite the railway tunnel below, which was built in two stages about 100 years ago.

Our excursion takes us to this hotspot of Alpine traffic problems, combining the up-close experience of an imposing mountain and traffic landscape with expert input, from the history of the pass route full of smuggling adventures to today’s pressing traffic issues. The excursion also serves to publicise a petition by various NGOs in the Alpine region demanding that dangerous goods transports on all Alpine routes be shifted from road to rail – not only, but in particular also on the winding Simplon road.

Route: After a bus ride to the top of the Simplon Pass, we will hike back towards Brig, with stops along the way to learn about the exciting background of this impressive Alpine transit route in short input speeches and discussions.

Important: The hike leads along good hiking trails, but sturdy shoes and adequate equipment (weatherproof mountain jacket, warm clothing) are necessary.

Languages: DE and EN

Organiser: Alpine Initiative  & CIPRA International (


11:36 Brig station: Public bus in direction of Domodossola, we leave bus on Simplon Pass (please buy your own ticket Brig – Simplon-Pass)

12:12 Arrival on Simplon Pass and lunch from backpack (please bring your own)

13:00   Hike with short input speeches and discussions from Simplon Pass to Brig on the ViaStockalper

17:30 Arrival in Brig

18:00 Apéro at Stockalper Palace on invitation of the municipality of Brig-Glis, followed by AlpWeek evening-program

Festive Networking Evening


Apéro on invitation of the Stadtgemeinde Brig-Glis 


Celebration of 20 Years Via Alpina 

Join us on a hike along the Via Alpina. We look forward to an evening full of anecdotes, pictures and stories of the transalpine hiking trail.

Food and drinks not covered but available
Have you had an exciting experience on the Via Alpina and would like to present it (film, report, photos, etc.)? Then get in touch with:

Language: EN

Organiser: CIPRA International

at Zeughaus, Saal 1


Get together: Networking with music, drinks, and talks

Alpine music in the bar

Food and drinks not covered but available

at Zeughaus, Bistro

TUESDAY, 6.9.2022


Registration – Coffee


Greetings and Introduction


Keynote 1: Grassroots innovations in the French Alps. Which potential for regional socio-ecological transitions?


Language: translated into DE, FR, IT, SLO

Speaker: Kirsten Koop

Social initiatives envisioning sustainable transitions have been mushrooming in the French Alps during these last two decades. They are embedded in translocal networks which foster the transfer of know-how and mutual aid. This keynote will delve into levers and obstacles for broader regional transitions triggered by such grassroots innovations.

Keynote 2: Upper Vinschgau Citizens’ Cooperative

Language: translated into DE, FR, IT, SLO

Speaker: Armin Bernhard

The motivation of the founders of the cooperative lay in their common endeavour to shape a sustainable future for the Upper Vinschgau region. The goal of the Obervinschgau citizens’ cooperative is an ecologically and economically sustainable development of the valley. Peripheral rural areas are at a disadvantage compared to the centres in today’s social development. For this reason, it is important to take a different direction. Not to continue developing efficiency, competition and consumption strategies, but to build on resilience, cooperation and diversity. The initiators are united by the common will to create a sustainable region and to solve local needs and difficulties. The cooperative builds on the people and resources of the region, strengthens local cycles and social cohesion.

Organiser: CIPRA International


Coffee Break


When youth get involved!

Youth from all over the Alps will present 4 different projects and studies. A breath of fresh air that will open the alpine week debates

Language: Translated into DE, FR, IT, SLO

Organiser: CIPRA Youth Council (CYC) (


Introduction to sessions and excursions


Lunch Break


First round of parallel sessions
Session 1: Stilfs: Energy cooperative and experimental field for demographic change, Room: Nr. 7
The Stilfs Electricity Cooperative is the energy supplier in the municipality of Stilfs (IT). The municipality has about 1135 inhabitants and is located in the Stilfserjoch National Park in the Ortler area. The cooperative’s fields of activity include electricity, district heating and fibre optics. In the workshop, the cooperative will be presented and linked to the 20 million project by the Fund for Development and Resilience. The fund aims to create attractive localities in out-migration areas.
Organiser: Armin Bernhard
Session 2, part 1: Integration of water in the centres of Alpine Towns (Brig, Alpine Town of the Year), Room: Nr.10

Brig-Glis is a good example of how Alpine cities could use and valorise the abundant water in mountain areas. Water can be used to cool the increasingly hot urban areas, for urban design, as a tourist attraction and much more. In the alpine environment, it is usually available in abundance.

Various impulse presentations on water as an urban planning element; urban climate: the central role of water; water in Alpine towns: displaced, tolerated, integrated – practical examples and a short portrait Brig-Glis will lay the foundation for the subsequent workshops.

During a tour of the city of Brig-Glis in the second round of parallel workshops (Session 2/part 2), the topic will be explored in greater depth.

Language: EN

Organiser: Alpine Town of the Year

Session 3: Onwards, upwards? - Climate adaptation and internal migration: opportunities and challenges in mountain areas, Room: Saal 1
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has just confirmed it once again: the human influence on the climate is clear and has a concrete impact on weather extremes in all regions of the world. Many of the emerging risks are clustered in urban areas, where more than half of the world’s population lives. Although urbanisation will continue, the move away from cities, intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic and the spread of mobile working, is a serious phenomenon. Co-working spaces in Crans-Montana or Verbier are harbingers of this, as are the rapid rise in the price of real estate in mountain areas or the shift of political majorities to landscape debates. The aim of the workshop is to shed light on the new urge to move to the mountains, to address its economic, political and cultural and ecological impacts, to discuss the opportunities and dangers it brings, and to show concrete examples of how to deal with climate-induced migration or how to prepare for it. The outcome of the workshop is a transdisciplinary agenda for knowledge development on the topic.

Language: FR, DE, EN, translation in DE, FR, IT, SLO

Organiser: For the Forum Landscape, Alps, Parks:

Jörg Balsiger, University of Geneva

Marcel Hunziker, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL)

Carolina Adler, Mountain Research Initiative MRI

Dr. Christine Jurt Vicuña Muñoz, School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL

Session 4: Awarded mountain tourism?, Room: Nr. 5

What are the relevant labels that distinguish sustainable destinations in mountain tourism? What is their underlying philosophy? What do they bring in concrete terms?

More and more labels are being introduced in tourism, at the business level, but also at the destination level. Some are explicitly focused on tourism, others go beyond that, such as the two mountaineering villages newly introduced in Switzerland in 2021 or “Gewässerperlen plus”. The aim is 1) an overview and comparison of existing labels at the level of Alpine destinations, 2) a more detailed presentation of 2-3 labels, in particular the Mountaineering Villages initiative, and 3) a critical reflection on the possibilities and limits of labels.

Language: DE, possibly EN

Organiser: Swiss Alpine Club


Philippe Wäger, Swiss Alpine Club

Fadri Guidon, President of the municipality Bever

Hans-Christian Leiggener, Director UNESCO Welterbe Schweizer Alpen Jungfrau-Aletsch

Simona Barmettler, Sedrun Disentis Tourism SA

Session 5: Let them graze! - Challenges and opportunities ruminant production in mountain pasture systems, Room: Schmitta

Agricultural surface in the Alps and other European mountain regions is to large parts grassland or rangeland, which can be utilised exclusively by herbivore livestock. As a resource for sustainable animal production these pastures are extremely valuable, yet the necessary labour input is high, which leads to their continuous abandonment and subsequently encroachment. In the light of urgent needs for more ecological and climate friendly agricultural production schemes, we need to reassess the role of animal husbandry in mountain regions for food production, ecosystem services and, not the least, animal welfare. In the workshop we will discuss the general significance and challenges of mountain pasturing in Europe, and we will hear and discuss the hands-on experience of Swiss alpine dairy farmers.

Language: DE or EN

Organiser: Franz Steiner, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, FiBL, Switzerland

Alain Gisiger-Perrier (Farmer)


Coffee Break


Second round of parallel sessions
Session 2, part 2: Integration of water in the centers of Alpine Towns (Brig, Alpine Town of the Year)

In the midst of the city of Brig-Glis, the participants will deepen the topics discussed in the first part of the workshop by means of concrete aspects in small groups. Among the topics are:

– Regarding the practical implementation of water as an urban planning element: What is Brig-Glis doing? What is being done elsewhere? What are the concrete benefits? Where are the stumbling blocks in the implementation?

– Assessment of the “water situation” and recording of the urban climate on the basis of selected quarters of Brig-Glis: concrete assessment parameters and measurement methods.

– How can society and politics be won over for the topic of “water in the city”? How can a step-by-step participation process – being informed, having a say, co-deciding, participating – be set in motion? What best practice experiences are there?

Followed by a synthesis and final discussion with Monika Holzegger and Rolf Weingartner

Language: EN

Organiser: Alpine Town of the Year

Session 6: How to improve energy efficiency in the Alpine Space?, Room: Schmitta

Local and innovative solutions to improve energy efficiency: the use of biomass, microgrids and e-mobility solutions.

Energy efficiency being one of the Interreg Alpine Space core priorities, we will further explore this topic in our workshop focusing on local and innovative solutions to improve energy efficiency: the use of biomass, microgrids and e-mobility solutions. Based on the results and experiences of the Alpine Space projects ALPGRIDS, BB-CLEAN and e-SMART, we will see how local solutions in the Alpine cities and rural areas can make a difference to the energy transition at Alpine level. The discussion will then focus on the challenges posed by the implementation of these solutions (political and citizen support) as well as on the broader issues at stake, such as energy sufficiency. Participants to the workshop will be able to share their experiences and ideas on how to overcome these challenges.

Language: EN

Organiser: Interreg Alpine Space

Session 7: The Alps are getting greener! New opportunities for alpine and mountain farming as well as mountain forestry?, Room: Saal 1
Climate adaptation strategies in the management of the “greener Alps” – A transdisciplinary search for chances and limits of the transition of alpine farming, mountain farming and mountain forestry in the context of changed vegetation zones.

What will drive us up the wall when we sow rye in 2050? Will crops and alpine cattle thrive better in the forested semi-shade in the future? In the workshop we want to think together about the future and address the aspects that are essential for us participants in adapting alpine farming, mountain farming and mountain forestry to changing climate conditions. We all know that various established balances are shaken. That is why we want to bring together participants with different forms of knowledge and experience, gather our knowledge, formulate hypotheses, discuss connections and interrelationships, and explore possible opportunities and limits. We will design the exchange process along the 5 steps from the Problem Based Learning method, which our students at BFH-HAFL use to set up their learning processes. Through structured moderation, we hope to be able to present some essential questions for the future in “greener Alps” at the end.

Language: DE (+EN in case of more than 10 participants), translation in DE, FR, IT, SLO

Organiser: Karin Zbinden, Hochschule für Agrar-, Forst- und Lebensmittelwissenschaften HAFL


Session 8: Transition: a conceptual and operational process, Room: 10

How can we envision ecological and social transitions as a whole, from an interdisciplinary perspective, rather than from sectoral approaches.

In the 2020-2024 program of LabEx ITTEM, the approach to the notion of transition is correlated with that of innovation in order to question the continuous re-evaluation of models and norms of contemporary societies through the prism of theories of change. In the face of major environmental, climatic and energy challenges, against the backdrop of the preservation of the planet’s habitability, the very conception, scope and intensity of this transition are being debated: is it a horizon of reform that will make it possible to ‘green’ modes of production and life, while maintaining the presupposition that the solutions being sought must not restrict economic growth? Or, on the contrary, is it a process of profound transformation at the political and economic levels, but also at the cognitive and cultural levels?

In this respect, mountain regions – at different scales and in very contrasting contexts – are particularly suitable fields of study and a scientific object, not only because of the accentuation of environmental crisis phenomena, but also because of social resilience processes. Ecological and climatic vulnerability, physical constraints, mobility and access to services, economic and residential attractiveness dependent on natural, cultural and heritage resources, and the accentuated seasonality of activities are some of the major characteristics. The emergence of the mountain as a transnational and transcultural common good is thus to be put in perspective with the evaluation of the demonstrative value of the socio-ecological experiments observed in the mountains, and to contribute to their transferability.

Language: EN

Organiser: For ISCAR Alpine Research:

Thomas Spiegelberger, INRAE, French National Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment

Raffaela Balzarini and Carine Pachoud, LABEX ITTEM, Innovations et transitions territoriales en montagne

Session 9: Hiking and creating: Towards a new Via Alpina Network, Room: Nr. 5

Co-create with us – the future network and story of the long-distance hiking trail Via Alpina!

The transalpine long-distance hiking trail “Via Alpina” celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2022 as an official implementation project of the Alpine Convention. A hike along the Via Alpina makes alpine-wide challenges such as climate change, pressure of use and rural exodus tangible. But it also shows solutions such as sustainable building culture, slow tourism and innovative projects of local populations.  After 20 years, the network around the Via Alpina will be reactivated to enable alpine-wide projects along the trail and to maintain its existence as a form of soft tourism.

We will look into the future of the Via Alpina. How should a network in 2022 look like? Who needs to take part? And how? A joint workshop round will bring together interested organizations, partners, and individuals from the entire Alpine region to clarify needs and allow joint projects and collaborations to emerge.

Language: EN

Organiser: CIPRA International




Keynote and podium debate: Photovoltaics in the landscape

The panel discussion is open to the public. No registration necessary.

Language: DE (translated into EN, FR, IT, SLO)

Photovoltaics will be the absolute focus of the expansion of electricity production capacities in Europe in the coming years. The electricity can be produced cost-effectively, CO2 emissions are reduced. The potential is enormous – and in the Alpine region in particular, it could be used to produce a high proportion of the missing winter electricity. What about large-scale ground-mounted systems? Can they be realized in a way that is compatible with the landscape, and what is the legal situation?

This question will be discussed by experts from science and practice with different perspectives among themselves and with the audience. Raimund Rodewald, Managing Director of the Swiss Landscape Conservation Foundation, will begin with an input from the perspective of spatial planning, biodiversity and landscape.

Input: Raimund Rodewald, Managing Director, Swiss Foundation for Landscape Conservation 

Statements and panel participants:

Markus Schreiber, lawyer, University of Lucerne, perspective of spatial planning law

David Stickelberger, managing Director, Swissolar, perspective of the photovoltaic industry

Renato Jordan, Initiator Gondosolar, Perspective Initiator of a ground-mounted system in the Valais Alps 

Boris Salak, Social Sciences in Landscape Research, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL)

Moderation: Catherine Duttweiler, Journalist

Organisers: Forum Landscape, Alps, Parcs (, CIPRA Switzerland ( & Swiss Alpine Club SAC (


Get together of participants 

Alpine music intermezzi in the bar

at Zeughaus, Bistro

WEDNESDAY, 7.9.2022


Morning Program of the CYC – closed for public

How can climate change be made visible in the region of Brig?

A cross border exchange between young people from Brig and the CIPRA Youth Council to make climate change artistically visible in the region – in cooperation with the ClimateFresk


Full day excursion 

In the Aletsch region, the effects of climate change are already very visible. On this excursion we will look at the effects on the landscape, flora, fauna and people of the region and what measures will be necessary as a result.

Description: One effect of climate change in the Alps can be observed particularly well – glacier retreat. Taking the Great Aletsch Glacier as an example, we will look into the future of the ice giant and ask ourselves what other consequences the melting will have for the landscape and the people of the region.

But it is not only the glaciers that are affected by climate change. Consequences are also to be expected or already observable for the flora and fauna of the Alpine region.

Planned tour: The excursion will bring us to the Moosfluh with its beautiful view on the Aletschgletscher. From there we will walk through the Aletsch forest known for its old trees to the Villa Cassel. From there we will go back to Brig. 

Important notice: Good shoes are recommended. Costs 30€/CHF

Language: DE or EN

Organiser: Pro Natura Zentrum Aletsch, Maurus Bamert, Director and CIPRA Switzerland (

09:48   Brig train station: Postbus to Mörel (independent)

10:03   Mörel: cable car ride to Riederalp Mitte (independent)

10:15   Riederalp Mitte: Welcome and introduction by excursion guide

10:30   Moosfluh valley station: cable car ride to Moosfluh

15:20   Villa Cassel: End of excursion

16:00   Riederalp West: Return journey to Brig


Third round of parallel sessions
Session 10: Arriving? Leaving? Residing? Demographic change & diversity in alpine communities, Room: Schmitta

Migration, Youth & Participation – Whether characterised by structural weakness and migration or by one-sided developments in tourist hotspots – a large part of alpine communities is confronted with a strong demographic change and the associated limited opportunities for social exchange.
After an input on demographic developments & trends in peripheral regions, we want to discuss local experiences, challenges, and strategies of the participants concerning immigration, diversity, as well as integration, and participation with an emphasis on young people. 

Language: EN

Organiser: Alliance in the Alpes, Elisabeth Gruber, Humboldt Stipendiatin Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürenberg FAU

Session 11: Energy Transition: challenges of biodiversity and climate protection in high-elevation areas, Room: Saal 1

Opportunities and challenges of renewable energies between planetary boundaries and local interference in the biosphere.

The energy transition – which implies decarbonisation of energy production and the eventual abandonment of nuclear energy – requires the development of new renewable energy production infrastructures. Due to their topographical and atmospheric characteristics, high-altitude regions tend to have a higher energy potential than lowland regions. However, the development of new infrastructures is hampered by the need to protect nature and landscape. In this workshop, we want to discuss the following issues in particular:

– Can the concept of “planetary limits” help reconcile the energy imperatives of decarbonisation and biodiversity protection?

– Which scale of intervention is more appropriate: the concentration of heavy infrastructures in specific sites or the dissemination of low-intensity production infrastructures over the territory?

– Are biodiversity/geodiversity (nature) protection issues the same as landscape protection issues?

Language: DE , FR, (EN), translation in DE, FR, IT, SLO

Organiser: Co-organised by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Mountain Research CIRM (University of Lausanne) and the Institute Cultures of the Alps (University of Lucerne)

Session 12: Energising Alpine agriculture, Room: Nr. 5
Assessing the potential for renewable energy production in Alpine agriculture
This workshop will address the potential and relevance of developing renewable energy production in Alpine agriculture. It will do so by presenting a range of possible technologies (with a special focus on agri-photovoltaics and biochar) and discussing various exploitation models. Based on input received in the workshop, participant will develop and discuss visions and scenarios for future renewable energy production in Alpine agriculture.

Language: DE or EN

Organiser: Olivier Ejderyan, Research Institutes of Organic Agriculture FIBL


Coffee Break


Closing Plenary and debate

Harvesting sessions and plenary discussion: transitions in the fields of energy, tourism, demography and biodiversity in the Alps.

Room: Saal 1

translated into DE, FR, IT, SLO


Lunch Break


Half day excursion

at Zeughaus

Viticulture is of great economic importance in the Valais. In the Pfyn-Finges Nature Park, ways are being sought to preserve soil fertility and biodiversity.

Description: Viticulture in Switzerland is undergoing profound structural change. The earlier cultivation methods changed fundamentally through the use of chemical substances – and not always in a positive direction. Today, people are aware of these problems and so soil fertility, greening and the use of environmentally friendly products are becoming increasingly important.

The excursion will also present and discuss landscape challenges: Should all dry stone walls be preserved? Should further large-scale meliorations take place and why should solar collectors not be placed on the well-sunned slopes above the vines?

It goes without saying that these topics will be discussed over a glass of wine!

Language: DE or EN

Organiser: Pfyn-Finges Nature Park, Peter Oggier, Director and CIPRA Switzerland (

Meeting point: Zeughaus

Departure in Brig: 13:03

(1) Welcome and introduction (30′)

(2) The transition to organic farming, Felizitas Mathier (60′)

(3) How the nature park was born from wine, Peter Oggier (60′)

(4) Photovoltaic system in the vineyard? Peter Oggier (60′)

(5) Tasting

Arrival in Brig: 18:32

Costs 30€/CHF


Half day excursion

Locally processed wheat and rye

About Achera Biela: The Achera Biela in Ried-Brig is a hotspot of biodiversity: very rare arable flora, steppes, dry grasslands, traditional irrigation by means of suonen, extensively used pastures, etc. The agricultural use of this unique cultural landscape is traditional, albeit with modern machinery. Traditional rye fields can be seen as the origin of Valais rye bread, a typical Valais specialty. On the 90-minute tour, you will learn many exciting facts about Valais culture and nature.

About the Artis Bakery: In October 2021, the Artis Bakery opened in Ried-Brig. The in-house creations and their beneficial effects can be enjoyed with all senses. The bakery attaches great importance to producing healthy products with high-quality raw materials and using local resources. Participants can convince themselves of this during a tasting.

14:10 Meeting point Brig train station

14:18 Departure by post bus B632 from the station, arrival in Brig-Ried at 14:29, guided tour through the farmland with Gerhard Schmid

16:00 Guided tour of the bakery with tasting with Mathias Biner

16:51 Departure Postbus B631 to Brig train station, arrival at 17:10

Possible connecting trains e.g.: 17:57 -> Geneva, Annecy, etc.; 17:18 -> Munich, etc. or 17:48 -> Zurich, Innsbruck, Basel, Lindau, Freiburg, Sonthofen, etc.; 17:22 -> Torino, etc., 18:22 -> Domodossola, Milano, etc.

(costs 10 €/CHF)

Organiser: Alpine Town of the year (

The plenary parts are translated into DE, FR, IT, SLO