The Espace Mont-Blanc: a cooperation space to be protected and promotedMay 2015
For more than twenty years, the Espace Mont Blanc (FR/IT/CH) has been striving to meet the needs for sustainable and balanced development of the Mont Blanc massif and its valleys, in order to protect and promote this emblematic cross-border territory.
Today it is often cited as a laboratory for testing tomorrow’s mountain region policies at the heart of the Alpine arc.
A Plan Intégré Transfrontalier (integrated cross-border plan) has been implemented with the aim of introducing a joint concept of sustainability into everyday life. It leveraged 12 million euros of investment between 2009 and 2013, including 6.8 million euros in ERDF grant as part of Europe’s France-Italy Alcotra programme. Six innovating projects have been developed in the areas of natural resources, renewable energy, hiking, education about the environment, active transport and local produce.
Two other projects, “Eco-innovation en altitude” and “PlanETer”, have recently been completed, and have triggered substantial work on the sustainable management of structures at high altitude and in favour of the energy transition.
Today its territory project “Stratégie d'Avenir” (future strategy) aims to establish a sustainable and innovating economy protecting resources and providing added value for the inhabitants.
A broad consultation approach encompassing local authorities, institutions, associations and socio-professional organisations has resulted in the emergence of interesting lines of action for promoting the attractiveness and sustainability of tourist activities, short distribution channels, supporting innovation at the service of the economy and mobility, and taking better account of the effects of climate change. These actions will be submitted for the 2014-2020 programming of the European Union funds.
The answers to all these environmental and developmental issues the Espace Mont Blanc faces can be obtained only by a collective and cross-border ambition.
The Espace Mont Blanc has been a member of the MOT since 2004.