Through an ecoregional approach to conservation, the WWF European Alpine Programme (EALP) is helping to save Alpine nature in its entirety. Solutions are concentrated on those areas that are most important for conservation: the Alpine gemstones and their corresponding connection areas. The EALP has also identified ‘priority issues’ in the Alps for which conservation strategies are crucial.
Nature knows no boundaries, neither do the problems it faces. In order to protect Alpine nature in its entirety, a comprehensive approach is needed.
A globally important region
The Alps are one of the richest biodiversity hotspots in Europe. They are also one of the most exploited ecosystems worldwide. Given this, it comes as no surprise that the Alps were selected as a region of global importance for biodiversity conservation. The Global 200
Initiative of WWF recognizes the Alps as one of the most important ecoregions
for conserving a major proportion of the global biodiversity for future generations.
European Alpine Programme
International cooperation across the Alps is key to saving Alpine nature. The legal framework provided by the Alpine Convention
and the creation of the Natura 2000
network have set the stage for pan-Alpine conservation action.
Now, four WWF national alpine organizations (WWF Austria, WWF France, WWF Italy, and WWF Switzerland) are closely working together under the umbrella of the European Alpine Programme (EALP) to implement a comprehensive and transboundary conservation strategy in the Alps.
By adopting the ecoregional approach
, the WWF offices shift towards integrated, large-scale and long-term conservation, supporting the objectives of the Alpine Convention
and the Convention on Biological Diversity
The EALP is promoting actions in collaboration with its partners to bring innovation into the preservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in the Alps. We accomplish this by:
1) considering biodiversity from an Alps-wide perspective
2) identifying biodiversity hotspots, where conservation measures will be most effective
3) enhancing connectivity between natural areas to allow for the freedom of movement for animals in the Alps.
The EALP and its partners have developed a biodiversity vision for the Alps. This vision identifies the areas most important for biodiversity conservation in the Alps - the Alpine gemstones
- and the natural corridors
that connect them.
WWF is acting at both the pan-Alpine and local levels to save the Alpine gemstones and to ensure the existence of an intact ecological network. Protecting and restoring both the cultural and natural elements of these areas will be key to their protection.