The Alps are a fascinating mountainous area, which attract a large number of holiday and day guests year for year. A signifcant proportion of these come in the winter half-year. The winter in the mountains and the ensuing possibilities of sporting activitities enjoy a great popularity. It is thus no wonder that winter sport in the alps is an important source of income and a part of the economic motor. In spite of all advantages which result for the local alpine population, one must also soberly consider that this interference in the ecologically and landscape sensitive mountain development has its price.
A balance between the human needs for recreation and sporting activities and the requirements of nature must be achieved. With respect to the precautionary steps, important progress has been made in the last ten years, such as the introduction in many alpine areas of tests for environmental compatibility or the definition of boundary conditions for regional planning. The awareness and willingness to improve current use is still insufficiently pronounced.
Regulatory stipulations and restrictions are only effective to a limited extent. The search after instruments and forms of cooperation is worthwhile, if these allow room for movement, and are based on the direct and cooperative responsibility of the respective bidder. Auditing approaches these requirements pretty closely.
The use of such instruments is in the tradition of the Verwaltungs- und Privat-Bank Aktiengesellschaft (VP Bank), Vaduz. It also has gained a great deal of experience in recent years in the environmental management of their own concern. Thus it is only logical that they support initiatives, which attempt to achieve the introduction of such strategies and instruments in other areas. The founding of the "pro natura – pro ski" Association and the present auditing project thus represent a natural sequel to the company philosophy extended outside the concern.
With the founding of the association, the bringing together of numerous capable personalities and institutions has been achieved which represent the most diverse interests in the sport of skiing.With Adelboden (CH), Malbun (FL) and Schladming (A) we already have fortunately three ski areas which have declared their readiness to cooperatate in this project. In addition, this project is also supported by Liechtenstein and other foundations. We are grateful that, based on the comprehensive preparations of the Foundation for Safety in Ski-sport, that the SIS, the German Ski Federation could be consolidated and that valuable expertise of the International Ski Federation FIS could be brought in. This underlines the importance attributed to auditing in areas used for ski sporting activities. The founding of the "pro natura – pro ski" Association and the present project are important milestones in the procedure of unifying the most diverse environmental interests through dialogue.
The Verwaltungs- und Privat-Bank Aktiengesellschaft is pleased to be able to make a contribution to the preservation of these sensitive mountainous regions.
President of the Administrative Board of
the Verwaltungs- und Privat-Bank Aktiengesellschaft
President of the Foundation Committee pro natura – pro ski