The workshop confirmed the complexity, variety and relevance of AGs work, which is covering all the most strategic issues affecting the development of the Alpine area in this period of serious economic and social crisis. Two main aspects are worth to be mentioned:
- the effort of AGL to think in transversal terms by finding common areas of interest among several AGS in line with the spirit of cross-sectoral collaboration that characterises AlpGov2
- the case for building shared operational models (on mobility, smart villages, green infrastructures, research and innovation, energy) that can be the basis for replicable projects but with a single reference basis and shared values.
In the second part of the workshop a policy dialogue has been conducted on two main topic: innovation as a key for sustainable development and climate change .
Innovation as a key for sustainable development: How to develop a sustainable effective research and innovation area in the alpine region? What does it mean innovation for sustainable development for the enterprises on the alpine regions which are mainly SMEs?
Philip Pfaller from the Bavarian Research and Innovation Agency, Luca Mion from Trentino Hub Innovation and Thomas Egger from SAB Swiss Center for Mountain Regions clarified:
- Digital industry can provide useful tools to help fostering the transition to a sustainable model. It Is not possible for company to reduce pollution without digital technology.
- The idea of bringing digital and sustainable development together should represent the core of the strategic thinking for the future business. Sustainability is a key driver for innovation.
- Social innovation is the key word. Smart villages topic is not not only about technological solutions and digitalization, it is much more about social innovation. During the Covid-19 emergency the smart villages were more able to react to the crisis because they could easier communicate with their population. This proximity between population and territory helps to strength the resilience of the mountain area.
Climate change in the Alpine area - Which is the contribution of nature to tackle climate change? Are there other crucial policy areas where we need to mainstream climate change? Energy and climate change are closely related. Which particularly actions may be targeted at local and regional levels?
Tina Trampuš, from the Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature, Wolfgang Lexer, from the Environment Agency Austria and Etienne Vienot, from the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Energy Environment Agency agreed on some data:
- Nature is playing a big role in everyday life; we know now that development is not possible without conservation. It would be important to introduce in the Alpine countries a sort of joint ministry for environment, agriculture, and economy.
- All sectors are affected by climate change impact. The goal is to mainstream adaptation measures into policies, extending them to different sectors.
- Climate risk and energy are strictly connected. Local authorities need to consider the 3 topics (energy, risk and climate adaptation) at the same time in order to develop effective policies. Transversality is a key issue for energy.