“Rete Montagna” (www.alpinenetwork.org) is an international association, founded on the 11th of November 2000 in Belluno, upon the initiative of the G. Angelini Foundation. This association brings together Institutes, Organizations and Research Centers focused on mountain issues, such as: the University of Innsbruck and Udine (Klagenfurt at the beginning), the Department of Geography of Milan, Padua and Grenoble (for many years), the Italian Association of Geography teachers and many others (see the Depliant). These members are engaged in the collection, coordination and promotion of cultural heritage to enhance debate and mutual updates on programs and activities on topics regarding: Geography, Geology, Hydraulic control, Road networks, Toponomastic, Meteorology, Territorial Planning and Carrying Capacity, Alpine Culture, Local History and so on.

The members of Rete Montagna board are now: Davide Pettenella (University of Padua – Dep. of Territory and Agro-Forestry Systems, President); Roland Psenner (University of Innsbruck, Vice -President); Ester Cason Angelini (G. Angelini Foundation, Secretary). The founding members are 10 (see the Statute)

The main goal of “Rete Montagna” is to gather (and compare) the different ways of living and ways of doing in the Alps and in other mountain areas. Hence, we aim to propose solutions for promotion and conservation strategies of mountain heritage and life-styles. Mountain populations are a minority in comparison with the lowlanders, but this evidence does not imply that mountain people have to follow the lowland lifestyles. Actually, we observe how lowlanders crowd into mountain areas to experiment a diverse way of living. Our association evaluates in fact the coordination of programs and projects in order to avoid overlaps and keep updated the results, already achieved elsewhere. Collection and evaluation of projects, meetings and news exchange are among the most important implementations of “Rete Montagna”. It does not seem possible, but we are often misinformed about Veneto Region’s working systems or projects employed in Venosta Valley. Similarly, it is difficult to find collaborators in Chur (Switzerland) to involve in an exhibition about wood art, joined by institutes from Carnia and Tyrol regions. As first result, “Rete Montagna” helps to encourage the exchange of information regarding activities to carry out, availability of partners for launching new projects and to set up a common catalogue bringing together library sections and other documents, used by each member. Second, our association stimulates the launch of joined projects, founded on common funds. For what concerns all the initiatives organized for the community (exhibitions, training courses, workshops, and conferences), we create an efficient diffusion network.

The involvement in “Rete Montagna” is thus a choice, in the perspective of activities as well as for the solution orientation. The Alpine Network was born after a three days international Conference regarding cultures from the Alps, that brought to a Resolution undersigned by the Alpine Convention about population and culture (8th of June 1996 in Belluno). Following to this, the Permanent Committee, formed by nine members, created the international association “Rete Montagna”. Since then, the number of requests for membership applications has been constantly growing. The working range is extremely varied.

We ask associated members to operate in their fields with researches and initiatives in order to provide other members with these opportunities. Moreover, members can use the discussion Forum of AlpineNetwork.

We overcome the expression “old-is-beautiful”, emblematic concept in mountain iconography of Alpitour, as well as the “research in environmentally friendly development”, resulting from ordinary financial projects. On the contrary, we aim to develop a typical dignified identity, which defends the respect for a culture that is maintaining a long-term vitality.