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Will there soon be « quiet zones » in the French Alps?

Thursday, 04 October 2012

 Article 10 of the Tourism Protocol of the Alpine Convention foresees “the creation of quiet zones were no touristic infrastructure shall be developed”. Mountain Wilderness France has started working on this topic and published in 2008 the first French study on this subject. This study offers an analysis of various existing concepts as well as proposals for sites to be classified under this label based on a precise cartography.

Quiet zones are areas that present no particular interest from a strict biological point of view but they are exceptional and merit protection for their natural dimension, their particular calm and silence… their tranquility. They are conceived as new measure of landscape planning and their aim is to define areas were no infrastructure and other equipment should disturb the quiet of nature and man; their implementation should be done based on existing legal instruments.

In order to define , propose and implement this quiet zones Mountain Wilderness France has created an working group gathering actors like the Petzl Foundation, the Regions Rhône-Alpes and PACA, the national regional agencies, the Conservatoire régional des espaces naturels, regional and local politicians, WWF, CIPRA, ALPARC and others.  

 After several meetings and interviews with numerous stakeholders the working group has presented in July the first conclusions and defined the future orientations for the work. Generally the concept is well accepted and a common agreement of a wish to manage the territory according to new innovative way offering a harmonized relation between man and nature was identified.

Members of the network ALPARC as the Regional Nature Park Chartreuse for example are closely involved in these activities.