AlpWeek Intermezzo 2020

Youth & Climate – How can young people in the Alps be involved in shaping their future?

Young people’s views on climate change in the Alps will be the main theme of the AlpWeek Intermezzo 2020, to be held from 9th to 10th December 2020 in Nice (France).
Climate change is certainly a global phenomenon, but its impact is particularly acute in the mountains, with the disappearance of glaciers, an increase in natural hazards such as landslides, and changes in snow cover and watercourse patterns. It is also changing at a much faster rate in mountainous areas (up 2°C in the Alps since the pre-industrial era) than the global average increase of 1°C.
The living environment and occupations considered today as typically ‘Alpine’ will no doubt evolve in the future, due in particular to climate change. At the AlpWeek Intermezzo 2020, the focus will be on what this means for the younger generation. How do young people perceive the changes in landscapes and natural environment linked to climate change? What environment will they live in?
The AlpWeek Intermezzo 2020 will provide an opportunity to compare views and experiences in order to come up with answers to these questions. Change will come about more quickly if young people are actively involved in, or even devise the solutions sought themselves. The organisers of the AlpWeek Intermezzo 2020 therefore feel it is essential to grant them a prominent role in the programme and debates that will be held during the event.
To this end, they invite not only young people, but also non-profit organisations, educational institutions, incubators, careers guidance organizations, researchers, civil servants, politicians, as well as anyone who lives and works in the Alps to come together and share their ideas and experiences. For this, a combination of traditional methods of cooperation between political or public stakeholders will be proposed as well as discussion methods that are more conducive to the participation of young people.

The future of resources and the natural environment in the Alps

Alpine landscapes, resources and the natural environment play an essential part in the way and quality of life in the Alps. Gradually, climate change is altering the environment and the life of Alpine populations. For young people it is urgent and important to find solutions to slow down and mitigate these changes but also to adapt to them.
The AlpWeek Intermezzo 2020 will present initiatives run for, or by, young people themselves to raise awareness and to show what can be done to preserve the living environment as well as native flora and fauna. It aims to demonstrate that there are highly motivated young people in the Alpine Arc who are working on solutions for their future and are eager to learn more about how they can make their communities climate-friendly.

Therefore, the AlpWeek Intermezzo will also highlight how educating young generations can contribute to a more sustainable cohabitation between nature and human activities, but also conversely, how young people challenge our society. Across the generations, we must learn and take action together in order to use and manage scarce resources, such as water and the fragile natural environment, in a more careful way.

This implies a change in our way of life from a disposable Alpine society, which exploits and depletes natural resources, to a society that values resources by respecting, reusing and recycling them. The participants will explore these issues, such as our society’s relationship to the water that flows from the mountain tops to the sea, to plastic residues that can be found everywhere on the planet, but also to agriculture, livestock farming and local supply chains and circular economies.
The changes currently underway will have consequences for the younger generations living in the mountains, or wishing to settle there, in terms of training, career prospects and places to live.

The future of professional life in the Alps

The AlpWeek Intermezzo 2020 programme includes discussions on the consequences of climate change on the professional life of younger generations.
To counteract the rural exodus, job perspectives must be created that make a sustainable future in the Alps possible. Together with the ideas and visions of young people, traditional sectors such as tourism, agriculture and forestry, must be made more climate-friendly. How can young people help to develop new professions in the mountains or breathe new life into more traditional activities?
The AlpWeek Intermezzo 2020 offers an opportunity to discuss new ways of working and living in the mountains, and the role of young people in developing and sustaining third places, fablabs, cultural activities and other approaches based on teleworking. It also raises the question of the evolution of pluriactivity and seasonal jobs, markers of work in the mountains and often linked to activities related to snow, tourism, agriculture and forestry.
An essential part of this process will draw on creativity, adaptability and the reinvention of lifestyles and professions.

AlpWeek is an international event dedicated to new and promising sustainable development perspectives in the Alps. It is co-run by the main Alpine organisations involved in sustainable development and mountain protection and is held every four years. A shorter, intermediate version of the event may be held in the form of the AlpWeek Intermezzo, as in Nice in December 2020.
The event brings together the main Alpine stakeholders, who will be given the opportunity to discuss and develop new ideas and ways of working together. The town of Nice, situated at the end of the entire Alpine Arc, overlooking the Mediterranean sea, offers an exceptional Alpine ambience. Let it inspire you!

Alliance in the Alps, Alpine Convention, Interreg Alpine Space Programme, Alpine Town of the Year Association, CIPRA France, CIPRA International, Club Arc Alpin, French Federation of Alpine and Mountain Clubs, ISCAR Alpine Research, World Wild Fund for Nature.

Financial support
Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition, South Region – Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur, Auvergne Rhône Alpes Region, Bourgogne Franche Comté Region