Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg 2022

9 Moving Mountains: The Protection of the Alps

From the book Greening Europe

  • Romed Aschwanden , Maria Buck , Patrick Kupper and Kira J. Schmidt


This chapter analyses how throughout the long twentieth century people strived to protect the Alps. After 1900, individual critics of mass tourism were joined by the nascent nature conservation movement, which perceived the rapid growth of Alpine tourism as a threat to both the culture and nature of the Alps. The following decades saw the birth of international conservation organizations, the creation of new protected areas, and the introduction of national laws and international conventions on species protection, but also substantial growth in Alpine tourism and the rapidly expanding exploitation of Alpine waters for electricity generation. From the 1980 onwards, Alpine conservation was increasingly informed and inspired by the environmental movement and triggered by controversies surrounding the construction of large-scale road infrastructure for transit traffic across the Alps. As this chapter shows, all these developments had distinctly European dimensions.

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston
Downloaded on 26.9.2023 from
Scroll to top button