Energy transition or biodiversity: which comes first?

Protecting Alpine biodiversity despite the energy transition: international conference in Brig to offer solutions to conflicts of use in the Alps.   © berggeist007/

Protecting Alpine biodiversity despite the energy transition: international conference in Brig to offer solutions to conflicts of use in the Alps.
© berggeist007/

(25.10.2013) The Alps have great renewable energy potential. At the same time, however, this increases the pressures on Alpine nature. When should an area be used for power generation? When is maintaining biodiversity more important? Answers to these questions will be debated at an international conference on 12 and 13 November 2013 in Brig, Switzerland.

The central theme of the event is how renewable energy can be reconciled with protecting nature. A diverse mix of representatives from politics, energy production, environmental protection, science and administration will discuss potential solutions and future strategies, while referring to concrete examples from the Alpine regions. The “International conference on balancing renewable energy and nature in the Alps” will be held in English under the aegis of the project. This project brings together 16 partners to develop strategies and tools for the decision-making process at the energy production – biodiversity conservation interface. The results will be field-tested in five Alpine pilot regions.

Numerous Alpine municipalities affected
Environmental protection and energy transition pose a serious challenge to numerous local and regional decision-makers.
Markus Reiterer, Secretary-General of the Alpine Convention, will describe the political framework for the energy transition in the Alpine space. There will be expert presentations on current developments in environmental protection with regard to water, wind and bioenergy production. The pilot regions will show how they approach usage trade-offs in their respective regions, for instance the Austrian state of Vorarlberg or Slovenia’s Triglav National Park.

Public also invited
At 18:00 on Tuesday, 12 November 2013 representatives from the energy industry and environmental protection bodies will take part in a public panel discussion on Alpine-wide approaches to the energy transition and its effects on biodiversity. The discussion (in German) will be chaired by Ruth Seeholzer and will address a varied spectrum of trade-offs, co-opportunities and potential conflict areas.

Organisation and registration
The venue for the conference will be the Brig Pfarreizentrum (Parish Centre), Alte Simplonstrasse 13 in 3900 Brig/CH.
Registration for the free conference is possible until 4 November 2013 at,where the full programme can also be found.
Interested persons are invited to participate in the panel discussion (no registration necessary).
More information on the event and the project at

Invitation to media conference

A media conference will take place at 17:00 on Tuesday, 12 November 2013, where project lead partner Chris Walzer will officially introduce the topic at a poster exhibition detailing acute conflicts and possible solutions in the pilot regions.
To register for the media conference please contact: Katharina Spannraft on +423 237 53 04 or eMail.

Please report the conference in your medium and flag the conference, in particular the panel discussion, in your events calendar.

Chris Walzer, Lead Partner
Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna
T +43 1 489091 5180, + 43 664 105 49 67

Karen Schillig, communication management
CIPRA International, Schaan, Liechtenstein
T +423 237 53 08

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