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© Wild Wonders of Europe /Frank Krahmer / WWF
The Alpine gemstones

Priority Conservation Areas - gemstones - of the Alpine ecoregion. Together with Alpine partners ... rel= © WWF European Alpine Programme

Together with its partners, the WWF European Alpine Programme (EALP) consulted top Alpine experts to outline the most important areas for the survival of the flora, mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and insects of the Alpine region, as well as specific habitats such as the few remaining pristine freshwater basins. By overlaying the important zones for each of the ‘biodiversity elements’, 24 Priority Conservation Areas (PCAs) across the region were identified. These are the ‘gemstones’ of the Alps.

What We Do 

For each of the 24 gemstone areas, the EALP and its partners are preparing an action plan for biodiversity. Click on the following links to learn more about the areas where WWF is currently most active.

Our Vision

In the long term, a representative portion of Alpine biodiversity is maintained through WWF's work in Priority Conservation Areas - the Alpine gemstones.

What are Alpine gemstones?

The Alpine gemstones are the key areas that need to be protected in order to save Alpine nature. That does not mean that the areas outside these gemstones are unimportant, but if we want to be most effective with our limited resources we have to concentrate our efforts on the areas that will have the biggest impact.

Priority areas map - large file

© WWF European Alpine Programme

Urbanised and natural areas in the region of Monte Generoso (Switzerland/Italy). © WWF

Laghi Insubrici 

The WWF EALP is using this region as a pilot area to find the most effective conservation methods for conserving biodiversity in the Alpine gemstones.

Emerald environment, Ardez, Graubuenden Canton
The Emerald network is an ecological network to conserve wild flora and fauna and their natural habitats of Europe, which was launched in 1998 by the Council of Europe as part of its work under the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats or Bern Convention that came into force on June 1, 1982. It is to be set up in each Contracting Party or observer state to the Convention. © WWF

Rhaetic Triangle

In addition to the development of a region-wide strategy, bottom-up conservation activities are being initiated by the WWF EALP and their local implementation partners in the Rhaetic Triangle area.



International Commission for the Protection of the Alps (CIPRA)
© International Commission for the Protection of the Alps (CIPRA) © CIPRA

Network of Alpine Protected Areas (ALPARC)
© Network of Alpine Protected Areas (ALPARC) © ALPARC

International Scientific Committee for Alpine Research (ISCAR)
© International Scientific Committee for Alpine Research (ISCAR) © ISCAR