30 September 2021

General Assembly for the Transition of Tourism in the Mountains

On 23 and 24 September, Montagne Verte co-organised workshops in the Chablais region with the associations Cellule Verte 74 and Protect Our Winters France, as part of the Etats Généraux de la Transition du Tourisme en Montagne: General Assembly on the transition of mountain tourism

A national event organised by Mountain Wilderness and 2TM – Transition des Territoires, in the framework of the French presidency of SUERA (European Union Strategy for the Alpine Region), brought together all the actors of the mountain ecosystem to reflect together and build future solutions for their territory.

Plenary sessions live or by videoconference, followed by thematic workshops organised in some thirty territories. These workshops brought together associations, elected representatives and socio-professionals to reflect together in a collective intelligence workshop. Sponsored by Marie Dorin and Kilian Jornet, this event brought together 2000 people live, 29 territorial workshops, 1200 participants in the territories and nearly 100 speakers.

The challenge was to reflect on the future of our mountains and of each territory, taking into account economic and ecological needs and the necessary transition in the face of climate change. Move forward together, with different opinions and visions, to build the mountain of tomorrow together.

The first videoconference with Jean-François Caron, Dominique Bourg and Eric Raulet made it possible to draw up a report of the situation.

Jean-François Caron says “We have an old model that is dead, because it is based on an infinite world, which is not…”. “We have a real challenge: to build a new imagination, new possibilities for the mountain. We have to create this new narrative, without denying where we start, and accept to give up certain addictions.” La Fabrique des Transitions that he has set up in his town of Loos-en-Gohelle in the Hauts de France, which has become a pilot town for sustainable development, is a wonderful and inspiring example.

Another conference allowed other stakeholders to speak. Louise Drompt, from the SUERA youth council, insists on mobility “Short flights are for insects! Let’s give preference to trains, let’s give young people the means to travel with the minimum impact.

After these common findings that a real transition is necessary in the mountains, workshops were held in about thirty territories in the Alps.

The specification for the workshops was “collective intelligence” which allows for the best possible involvement of each stakeholder. Organised locally in Morzine by Montagne Verte, Cellule Verte 74 and Protect Our Winters France, elected officials, associations, tourist offices, mountain ecosystem stakeholders (ski schools, farmers, AMM, accommodation providers, seasonal workers, construction workers, market gardeners, scientists, etc. Inhabitants of the Aulps valley, Abondance valley and Vallée Verte were involved during these two days.

On the first day, the objective was to reflect on the problems to be solved in order to make the transition on the territory: individual reflection time, sharing and exchanges. 3 main issues have been selected: Mobilities – Urbanisation – Resource Management. The next day we worked on the previous day’s issues: Solutions, Actions and Needs.

You can find the summary in french with this link: EGTT Ateliers du Chablais

And on their website for all workshops: l’ensemble des synthèses par ateliers

The 5 themes addressed in almost all the workshops were Housing, Mobility, Governance, Resource Management, Economic Model Transition and Tourism.

Maintaining a lively, year-round territory is a major conclusion drawn from these workshops. Year-round residents are a real asset.

At the end of the conference, all the partners signed a common declaration. The follow-up to this national Assembly should make it possible to build the basis for a vision of the mountains for the years to come: “We, the actors of the mountains, are responsible for their environmental preservation as well as for their development. In accordance with the policies and actions already in place, we are committed to amplifying our efforts in order to be able to live and welcome well in preserved mountain territories.”

Restitution of the General Assembly

Revue la Transition au cœur des Territoires de Montagne

Pour aller plus loin: Guide Sectoriel ADEME bilans gaz à effet de serre et stratégie climatique en montagne

More useful resources from Montagne Verte: