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EnvALP/Environmental Indicators Working Group

1) Purpose of the EnvALP – Environmental Indicators Working Group
The EnvALP ('Environmental Indicators and the Impacts of Traffic Management Systems and other Measures on the ALPine Environment') Working Group was initiated on the basis of the "Conclusions from Leipzig 2012" ministerial mandate and works under Swiss chairmanship. The focus shall be on a revision of the current state of knowledge on environmental pollution from freight traffic in the Alps region as well as on the assessment of the impact (specifically the environmental impact) of various measures in the Alps region. Lastly, a list of measures and instruments shall be proposed. 

2) Specific tasks 
In the "Conclusions from Leipzig 2012" ministerial mandate, it was resolved to set up a new scientific working group, which was entrusted with the following tasks:   

  • to perform an in-depth analysis of existing projects in this area; 
  • to consider the relevant projects in the scope of the Alpine Convention,
  • to examine potential impacts on and needs in the Alpine regions;
  • in a later stage, to evaluate a list of suitable measures.

3) Status of the work in course
The Working Group started its mission in December of 2012 and has held several meetings since then. Three focus areas were established during the kick-off workshop:

  • Revision of the existing information on the Alpine environment in the form of a synoptic report;
  • Presentation of the environmental legislation pertaining to traffic in the Zurich Process countries.
  • Assessment of the impact of various measures and instruments (including heavy traffic management instruments) in terms of environmental pollution;

At the meeting of ministers in Leipzig, two informational reports were drafted on the basis of inputs from the working group members as well as from national experts of the environmental protection agencies and ministries. Contributions from Alpine Convention as well as iMONITRAF! research project and European Commission observers were likewise incorporated.

Synoptic report on existing environmental monitoring systems in the Alps region
This report contains the following elements:

  • Overview of country-specific and international monitoring systems and current research projects in this area;
  • Presentation of the activities in the scope of the Alpine Convention;
  • Current data on air and noise pollution in the Alps region, in the form of charts and graphs. 

The report indicates the areas in which the threshold limits for air pollutants are currently being exceeded. It also provides (in some cases still incomplete) information on the number of residents living alongside traffic infrastructures who are affected by noise pollution.  

Download report:
>> Synoptic report on existing environmental monitoring systems in the Alps region


Overview report on environmental legislation pertaining to traffic
The most important contents of this report are the national and community-level legal bases regarding air pollutants, CO2 and noise, supplemented by a comparative presentation of emission and immission threshold values for air pollutants, greenhouse gases (CO2) and noise. 
The report shows that the legislation in the EU Member States is largely consistent and in line with the corresponding EU directives. This applies particularly to air pollutants and greenhouse gases. Discrepancies occur mainly in Switzerland and Lichtenstein, which have lower immission threshold values for the key traffic-relevant air pollutants (NO2 and PM10). The regulations under noise protection legislation are considerably less consistent, one of the reasons for this being that the corresponding EU directives do not contain any specific threshold values. Hence there is substantial variation among the different countries.  

Download report:
>> Overview report on environmental legislation monitoring systems in the Alps region

4) Prospect for further action
Now that these two synoptic reports have been concluded, there are sufficient bases for further actions by the working group. Above all, these include assessment of the impact of various measures and instruments in terms of their potential contribution to reducing environmental pollution in the Alps region.


copyright by BMVIT
Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Bau und Stadtentwicklung (Germany) Ministère de l'Écologie, de l'Energie, du Développement durable et de l'Aménagement du territoire (France) Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti (Italy) Bundesminsiterium für Innovation, Verkehr und Technologie (Austria) Eidgenössisches Departement für Umwelt, Verkehr, Energie und Kommunikation (Switzerland) Ministrstvo za promet (Slovenia) Directorate General Energy and Transport