Rock the Alps

Rock the Alps logo

Acronym: RoCKtheALPS

Title: Harmonized ROCKfall natural risk and protection forest mapping in the ALPine Space

Call: Interreg

Duration: Starting date: 01/11/2016 - Project end: 31/10/2019 (36 months)

Coordinator: IRSTEA Grenoble regional centre, Mountain Ecosystem Research Unit (FR) 

Total EU Contribution: € 2.184.523,00

TESAF Budget: € 182.350,00

Responsible Scientific Officer/Investigator: Emanuele Lingua

Research Team: Emanuele Lingua, Francesco Bettella, Daniele Castagneri, Paola Bolzon

Brief description: In natural hazard management and disaster risk reduction worldwide, but especially in the Alpine Space , forests are increasingly considered equal to technical or civil engineering measures. Forests can, e.g. lead to increase slope stability and reduce the risk to an acceptable level in many locations. Where forests are present, the implementations of technical measures for risk reduction are often redundant or cheaper. Beautiful examples are the numerous forests throughout the Alps that prevent the release of snow avalanches instead of expensive snow racks and the large scale afforestation in the late 19th century that nowadays prevent upslope erosion and sedimentation problems in the lower parts of the Alpine catchments. The preservation and enhancement of the protective role of forests against natural risks are key to an efficient strategy for strengthening the liveability of the AS. The 6 Pan EU Ministerial Conferences on the Protection of Forest held since 1990, have all stressed the need
for a common approach to value Forest Ecosystem Services (FES) as a basis for developing a Sustainable Forest Management.
Priorisation of FES has to be done on the basis of societal needs. Although it is widely recognised that reduction of natural hazard risks is one of these, harmonised methods mapping this FES are currently not available. Within this context, ROCKtheALPS will capitalise the knowledge gained in previous EU projects and fulfil its main objectives to provide the 1st AS regional rockfall risk zoning tool, as well as the 1st AS wide harmonised map of rockfall risk and protection forests, these innovative maps will contribute to enhance action 8 of EUSALP (improving risk management), and the action 5 of Europe 2020 biodiversity strategy (FES mapping/valuing).These outputs will support local/regional/national/EU governance authorities in risk prevention/forest management. An interdisciplinary/transnational partnership has been set up with a 1.86 M€ ERDF budget.


Summer School: International Summer School "Alpine Forests are Rock Stars!" - Cesana Torinese, 22 / 27 July 2019