Switzerland is hosting a three-day meeting aimed at finding common ground on how to implement a draft agreement on road construction in the Alps and a sustainable transport policy.This content was published on October 20, 1999 - 08:45
Switzerland is hosting a three-day meeting aimed at finding common ground on how to implement a draft agreement on road construction in the Alps and a sustainable transport policy.
The meeting of the executive branch of the Alpine Convention group is particularly addressing concerns by environmentalists that a recent “no-new-roads” transport protocol, which was prepared by a multi-nation working group, has too many loopholes.
Alpine nations have agreed in principle not to build any new roads. But a political leader in the Austrian region of Vorarlberg has already said that he wants the construction of a new road linking his region with Switzerland to go ahead, and that he does not feel bound by the traffic protocol.
The head of the Swiss delegation, Arthur Mohr of the Federal Environment Office, who also chairs the meeting in the Swiss town of Interlaken, has called for a “flexible solution” and implementation of the protocol.
“The final details still need to be worked out and we hope that we will see general acceptance of the protocol, which will then allow us to present the proposals to the member states,” Mohr said.
“It’s important to discuss now how to start the translation of the (transport) protocol into concrete action,” he added.
The Alpine Convention brings together Germany, France, Italy, Slovenia, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Austria, Switzerland and the European Union. The countries have signed a number of protocols, pledging to harmonise and coordinate measures to protect Alpine regions.
Declared areas of mutual interest are: Anti-pollution measures for soil, water and air; sustainable economic development of mountain areas, ways of promoting environment friendly tourism and traffic policies.
From staff and wire reports.
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