The European Union can achieve its climate goals if it cooperates better in managing the main source of the continent’s waters in the Alps.
The Alps are a huge reservoir of water in Europe, with water flowing to 170 million people along the continent’s largest rivers.
Alpine waters are in dispute, as melting glaciers affect the lives of tens of millions of people.
Water plays a major role in the European Union’s shift towards a sustainable energy policy, especially as part of its strategy in the water-rich Alpine region.
And from January 1, 2023, water management in the Alps will be a major concern for Switzerland, as the first country outside the EU to hold the presidency of EUSALP for a period of 12 months.
Switzerland takes over the presidency of the organization from Italy, which led the organization this year, as announced at its annual forum, which was held in the Italian city of Trento from 22 to 25 November.
“The small Alpine region will play a major role in the EU’s shift towards sustainable energy policy, as water management and conservation is the main issue in that region,” Mirko Pesti, education advisor at the University of Trento, told Anadolu Agency.
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The Alps are a huge water reservoir in Europe, flowing to 170 million people along the continent’s largest rivers, including the Danube, Po and Rhine.
Alpine waters have become a matter of dispute, as melting glaciers affect the lives of tens of millions of people.
Low summer rainfall and unusually high temperatures in northern Italy have also dried up the Po, the country’s longest river.
** Effective management
The Trento Forum reviewed several EU projects aimed at improving management of the Alpine ecosystem.
Maurizio Foggati, head of the Trento region, told Anadolu Agency that the goals of the Italian presidency for the federation’s strategy in the Alps were well developed.
He pointed out that the forum included launching initiatives in digitization, biodiversity, circular economy, sustainability and supporting growth in rural areas.
The autonomous provinces of Posen and Trento assumed the EU strategy presidency for the Alpine region on behalf of Italy during 2022.
The organization aims to establish itself as a tool for cross-border cooperation in the Alps, to make it the first carbon-neutral zone in Europe, in line with EU climate measures and the European Green Deal.
** Weather forecast
Enrico Di Muzio, a meteorologist with the EU-funded TENEA climate project, called for cross-border cooperation in weather forecasting.
Muzio told Anadolu Agency that weather forecasting “is vital, as it adds value to farmers, local authorities and businesses, as well as people and families as they plan their vacations.”
He added, “There is no national center for weather forecasting in Italy, and there is often competition to improve the conditions of one region at the expense of other regions.”
The Alps are the longest mountain range in Europe, extending from Austria and Slovenia in the east, through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany to France in the west.