Convention on Protection of the Alps (Alpine Convention)

Convention on Protection of the Alps (Alpine Convention)

 

Article 1

Field of Application

1. The object of the present convention is the Alpine region as described and
depicted in the annex.

2. Any contracting Party may, at the time of deposit of its instrument of
ratification, acceptance or approval, or subsequently, extend the application of
the present Convention to other parts of its territory by a declaration
addressed to the Republic of Austria as depository, if such an extension is
considered necessary for carrying out the provisions of the present Convention.

3. Any declaration made under paragraph 2, regarding any designated territory,
may be revoked by notification addressed to the depository. The withdrawal
takes effect on the first day of the month which follows the expiration of a
period of six months after the date of reception of the notification by the
depository.

Article 2

General Obligations

1. The contracting Parties, respecting the principles of prevention,
cooperation, and the-polluter-pays, shall maintain a comprehensive policy of
protection and preservation of the Alps, taking into account in an equitable way
the interests of all Alpine States and their Alpine regions, as well as those of
the European Economic Community in using resources wisely and exploiting them in
a sustainable way. Transfrontier cooperation in the interest of the Alps shall
be intensified and broadened, both geographically and thematically.

2. The contracting Parties shall take appropriate measures to attain the
objective aimed at in paragraph 1, and in particular, in the following domains:

a) population and culture — with a view toward insuring the respect,
preservation and promotion of the social and cultural identity of the population
living in the region, and the guarantee of its fundamental resources, notably,
the habitat and an economic development respecting the environment, this as well
as the encouragement of mutual understanding and cooperative relations between
the populations of the Alps and those of extra-Alpine regions,

b) regional management — with a view toward assuring an economic and rational
utilization of the land and a healthy and harmonious development of the
territory, based on a thorough identification and evaluation of the utilization
needs of the Alpine area and a prospective and integrated planning with
harmonization of the standards involved; this while taking natural hazards
particularly into account, preventing over-concentration and over-density, and
seeing to the preservation and restoration of natural environments,

c) air quality — with a view toward obtaining a drastic reduction of polluting
emissions and their harms in the Alpine region, including transboundary
pollution affecting the region, in such a way as to arrive at a rate that is not
harmful to humans, flora or fauna,

d) soil preservation — with a view toward reducing quantitative and

qualitative harms to the soil, and in particular, through using a prudent
agriculture and forestry management that prevents erosion and limits the
hardening of soils,

e) regulating waters — with a view toward conserving or re-establishing the
natural quantity, and in particular, preserving the quality of waters in
hydrosystems, while insuring that waterworks are constructed respecting nature,
and that waterpower is exploited taking into account the interests of both the
local population and the environment,

f) protection of nature and preservation of scenery — with a view toward
assuring the protection, management, and if necessary, the restoration of nature
and the countryside in such a way as to guarantee the lasting functioning of
ecosystems, the preservation of flora and fauna and their habitats, the
regenerative power and long-term production of the natural patrimony, as well as
the diversity, originality and beauty of nature and the landscape generally,

g) mountain agriculture — with a view toward assuring in the general interest
the conservation, management and promotion of the traditional rural countryside
and an agriculture adapted to its site and compatible with the environment; this
while taking into consideration the economic limits of the Alpine region,

h) mountain forestry — with a view toward preserving, strengthening and
re-establishing forestry activities, and particularly, protection, through
management that respects nature, increases the resilience of natural ecosystems,
and avoids harmful use of the forest; this while taking into account the
economic limits of the Alpine region,

i) leisure and tourism — with a view toward assuring the harmonization of
leisure and tourist activities with social and ecological exigencies by limiting
leisure and tourist activities that harm the environment, and in particular,
through designating zones not subject to development,

j) transportation — with a view toward reducing the hazards and harms caused by
inter-Alpine and trans-Alpine transport to a level tolerable for humans, flora
and fauna, as well as their habitats and environment, notably, through a
transfer of an increasing amount of traffic, particularly of goods, to rail —
this through the creation of appropriate infrastructures and incentive measures
conforming to market conditions and without discrimination by reason of
nationality,

k) energy — with a view toward subjecting the production, distribution, and
utilization of energy to a respect for nature, the countryside and the
environment, as well as encouraging energy economy,

l) waste — with a view toward providing a system of collection, re-cycling and
treatment of wastes adapted to the specific topographic, geologic, and climatic
needs of the Alpine region, while at the same time aiming at the reduction in
volume of wastes produced.

3. The contracting Parties shall agree to protocols establishing the means of
application of the present Convention.

Article 3

Research and Systematic Observation

With reference to the interests mentioned in Article 2, the contracting Parties
agree to:

a) undertake cooperative efforts in research and scientific study,

b) establish shared or mutually complementary programs aimed at systematic
monitoring,

c) harmonize research, observation and the gathering of relevant data.

Article 4

Collaboration in Legal, Scientific, Economic, and Technical Domains

1. The contracting Parties shall facilitate and encourage the exchange of
legal, scientific, economic and technical data necessary for the present
Convention.

2. The contracting Parties shall mutually exchange information in order to take
into account as much as possible the transfrontier and regional needs and the
projected juridical or economic measures that may have effects in all or part of
the Alpine region.

3. The contracting Parties shall collaborate with governmental and
non-governmental International Organizations to the extent that such cooperation
contributes to the efficacious application of the present Convention.

4. The contracting Parties shall establish an appropriate program of public
information on the results of research and observations as well as on measures
taken.

5. The obligations of the present Convention regarding publication of
information shall be applied with respect for national laws regarding
confidentiality. Information designated confidential shall be treated as such.

Article 5

Conference of the Contracting Parties (the Alpine Conference)

1. The conference of the contracting Parties (the Alpine Conference) shall hold
regular meetings to examine questions of common interest and means of
cooperation among the parties.

The first meeting of the Alpine Conference shall be called no more than one
year after the entry into force of the present Convention by a contracting Party
to be designated by common agreement.

2. Thereafter regular sessions of the Alpine Conference will be held, as a
general rule, every other year under the aegis of the Party assuming the
chairmanship. The chairmanship and site of the conference will change after
each regular session of the Alpine Conference, as determined by the Conference.

3. The contracting Party who is chairman of a meeting of the Conference shall
prepare the agenda. Any contracting Party may have a point which it wishes
discussed put on the agenda.

4. The contracting Parties shall transmit information to the Alpine Conference
on measures taken by them to apply the present Convention and on the protocols
to which they are contracting Parties — this with due regard to national laws
regarding confidentiality.

5. The United Nations, its special agencies, the Council of Europe, as well as
any European State may be represented at meetings of the Alpine Conference by
observers. This provision applies equally to transfrontier associations of
territorial collectives in the Alpine region. In addition, the Alpine
Conference may admit observers from non-governmental organizations active in
this domain.

6. Extraordinary meetings of the Alpine Conference take place as decided by the
Conference, or between regular sessions when a third of the contracting Parties
request it of the Party charged with chairmanship.

 

Conclusion

Notes

See Also

References and Further Reading

About the Author/s and Reviewer/s

Author: international


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