The EUSALP Annual Forum officially opened on November 23rd and closed the Italian Presidency of EUSALP 2022, jointly chaired by the Autonomous Provinces of Trento and Bolzano, with the support of the European Commission. This event was devoted to the key issues addressed this year: responding to the energy crisis, mitigating the effects of climate change, promoting the participation of young people and highlighting the concrete results obtained on the ground by the thematic working groups. From November 22 to 24 in Trento, delegates from seven countries and 48 regions met. The thematic working sessions took place at "Le Gallerie" in Piedicastello (Trento) where the different Action Groups dealt with topical issues addressed in the Strategy. These sessions and other events organised in the framework of the Annual Forum were open to the public and widely participated.
On the morning of November 23 the first session "Success factors for the energy transition" focused on transport, which represents a third of the total energy consumption in the Alpine region and dealt with solutions to reduce the demand for mobility, such as rail transport. The session "Short forest-timber value chains in climate and geo-political crises time" aimed to create a direct and easy-to-use approach to inspire forest sector actors and organizations to engage in collaboration and share management at the local level and in EUSALP regions.
In the afternoon "The Alpine digital gap" focused on education, training and the labour market and explored training and funding opportunities for people of working age living in remote areas of the Alpine arc, by presenting best practices and the value of applying the European Pact for Skills at the regional level. Particular attention was paid to digital skills training opportunities for young people. The last session of the day "Joining forces for a climate-resilient and carbon-reduced Alpine Region", was organised by the Alpine Space Programme on the most urgent Alpine challenges, and involved the partners of the Interreg Alpine Space projects 2021-2027.
Thursday 24 November was the central day of the Annual Forum in Trento. The General Assembly - the political orientation body of the EU strategy for the Alpine region - and the meeting of the Trio Presidencies of the 4 EU macro-regional strategies were held in the headquarters of the Autonomous Province of Trento. Other technical seminars and side events were held at "Le Gallerie" (Piedicastello, Trento) and Teatro Sociale, and were all open to the participation of experts and the general public.
- In the morning, the joint work of the Action Groups continued with three sessions “Structural Reform Technical Support Instrument”, “Young People and European Recovery and Resiliency Plan: The role of EUSALP”, and “Cross-border spatial planning cooperation in the Alpine Region”.
The first two sessions focused on how to design and implement reforms that increase resilience, thereby contributing to the EU's recovery from the Covid-19 crisis, improve the quality of public services for sustainable growth and inclusiveness. Attention was paid to young people's expectations of investment in training opportunities and the professional world, and how academia can play a leading role in ensuring that young people are properly represented in EU policy and recovery processes. The latter session dealt with spatial planning in the Alpine region by exploring synergies between EUSALP and the Alpine Convention towards this objective.
In the morning was also held the launch of the Green Business Innovation Award .The “Green Infrastructure becomes business award” supports innovative ideas, products and services for a green economy and promotes sustainable development within EUSALP.
The award is now open for application! We are looking forward to submissions until 31 January 2023. For those who wish to participate, you will find all the information on this dedicated page.
Then the side event “UNESCO and the Alps: natural, cultural and intangible heritage” highlighted that EUSALP territories host the highest concentration of sites listed as cultural and natural heritage in the European continent.
- In the afternoon, at the Teatro Sociale, the results of the Italian Presidency were presented during the closing plenary session open to the public and also broadcast live on Youtube.
Governmental and regional politicians of the seven Alpine countries, Youth Council and representatives of other youth organizations from the Alpine regions discussed the major themes addressed by the Italian Presidency: environment and sustainable mobility, governance and participation in the EUSALP, young people and the future of the Alpine regions.
The event was closed with the Pitch your project competition 2022 : the five finalist groups pitched their ideas on stage and answered questions from the audience in the theatre. All finalists presented innovative ideas to develop the Alpine Region in a sustainable way and to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the Alps.The audience, composed of people physically or virtually present, chose the three winners through online voting. The winners are:
- ELDA: a project presented by French students in aeronautical engineering. They propose to use drones to meet two needs specific to the Alpine region. ELDA is intended for ski resorts and allows to prevent the risk of avalanche as well as to better manage the snow cover, in particular through the production of artificial snow.
- Insawlation: a project developed by French engineering students. They demonstrated that sawdust could be a very good insulator for buildings in the Alpine region. By joining forces with the Alpine wood production chain, they could considerably improve the energy efficiency of buildings and reduce waste from the wood industry adopting a local distribution economic model.
- Live Love Alps, which made the third place. This is a social project aimed to create communities of committed people in the Alpine region focusing on environmental, cultural and social issues. This method has already proven itself in other regions, and now it is the turn of the Alps to join the Live Love network.
youth.shaping.EUSALP boosts youth participation in the EU strategy for the Alpine Region. During the closing of the Italian Presidency 2022, many young people were involved and took part in the EUSALP General Assembly, the roundtables, the workshops, the final of the PYP 2022 competition and the internal meeting of the EUSALP Youth Council. They met on 25 November with representatives of the CIPRA International Youth Council to give feedback on the EUSALP Annual Forum. They also planned the upcoming activities for the coming months and reflected on a transalpine youth mobility project. A making off video of the youth activities during the Annual Forum is available on their YouTube channel togheter with a news article (available here) reporting on the activities of the Antonio Megalizzi Foundation for the year 2022.
Find here all the video material produced by the Italian Presidency 2022 and shown during the plenary:
- Outcomes Of The Italian Presidency - here
- Outcomes Of The Youth Activities Promoted By The Italian Presidency - here and the report here
- Climate Change in the Alps - here
- In Addition Also The Video And Report Outcome Of The Future Workshops With Proposals From Eusalp Young People - here and the report here
PRESS RELEASES of the Annual Forum
All the press releases of the Trento Press Office on the EUSALP Annual Forum (and more generally on this year's Presidency) are available here.