“Green Mountain Pioneers”: Multiplying sustainable initiatives

Jan 25, 2024

Author: Leonie Hasenauer (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Interdisciplinary Mountain Research)

What does a sustainable future for mountain resorts look like? Both the TranStat project and the „Green Mountain Pioneers“ film (produced by Sarisher Mann, directed by Michael Shaw) regard bottom-up initiatives that evolve from local or regional context as powerful answers to global challenges that should be shared. In 2023, “green mountain pioneers”, sustainability experts and practitioners, gathered to hike on the Tour du Mont Blanc trek to foster exchange and networking. Besides this meeting, the film sheds light on a variety of specific sustainable endeavors in mountain resorts, including the region of Zell am See-Kaprun.

It was also Kaprun that hosted the event with the European premiere of „Green Mountain Pioneers“ on 18 January 2024. After the public screening, Sarisher Mann led a panel discussion with Eva-Maria Bürgler (Zell am See-Kaprun marketing), Karin Huber-Heim (Circular Economy Austria), Katharina Mayer-Ertl (Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour and Economy), Michael Shaw (filmmaker), Stephan Obenaus (KEM Tourismus Zell am See – Kaprun) and Leonie Hasenauer (Austrian Academy of Sciences). From the local to the Alpine scale, the panelists acknowledged the relevance of resilient strategies for alpine tourism and outlined some of their approaches. Leonie Hasenauer shared TranStat’s transdisciplinary, participatory design of sustainable future scenarios. She argued in favor of bottom-up initiatives because stakeholders with local and regional experience can find solutions that fit to their specific contexts. In addition, involvement in the development of strategies increases the sense of ownership and motivation to implement them.

After the panel discussion, the castle in Kaprun served as a great place to exchange with people who are involved in sustainable development in different ways. Certainly, this event facilitated a positive outlook for the future and contributed to a stronger collaboration to multiply sustainable initiatives.

“Green Mountain Pioneers” was supported by EU Interreg Alpine Space, Mountain Research Initiative, Klima und Energie Modellregion Zell am See-Kaprun and the tourism board of Zell am See Kaprun.