Health of Mont Blanc Research

France, Italy, Switzerland

proMontBlanc is an umbrella group bringing together national and international organisations with the primary aim of environmental protection for the Mont Blanc Massif. It aims to help local groups make the correct management choices according to the principles of the Alpine Convention and encourages the millions of members of its associations to adopt forms of tourism and alpinism that are socially and environmentally sustainable.
 

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The Project

It also aims to remind the Italian, Swiss and French governments of their joint responsibilities, and presses the European Union to apply its environmental policy to the highest summit in Europe and its surrounding territory. proMontBlanc also petitions UNESCO to include the massif in its World Heritage list.

Even though it is an exceptional natural monument, the Mont Blanc Massif is the only great massif in the world that lacks official protection and it is under threat from climate change, pollution, infrastructure, overcrowding, too much traffic, property development etc. ‘The Thermometer of Mont Blanc’ will increase the number of indicators used to collect and process data concerning the ‘health’ of the Massif and its surrounding territories to reach greater understanding of where action must be taken and will lead to the creation of a data bank and publication of a three nations report.
 

The Update

The funding enabled the increase of environmental and sustainability indicators in the project’s area of research. The team collected data about glacier conditions, biodiversity, forests, tourism and traffic from the three countries surrounding the massif.

The first official report ‘Mont- Blanc Thermometer’ was published in March 2009. Essentially it is an observation which uses the indicators of the state of sustainability within the Mont Blanc area. The project has also set up of a trans-boundary databank which will be updated annually and used to provide periodical reports. Results from the project and any improvements noted will be published with the overall objective of making the Mont Blanc territory an example of sustainable development for the whole of the Alps. A public summary of the entire findings of the project was published in November 2009.
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We are hugely grateful for the support of the European Outdoor Conservation Association, without whose support we could never have realised such an ambitious project.
Hugo Tagholm, Surfers Against Sewage