Tirol State Environmental Lawyer - Decline Of Glaciers Can No Longer Be Stopped, Spells Trouble For Ski Areas

The Tyrolean Environment Ombudsman has commented on the state of the region's glacirs. He said:
"Climate change is advancing incessantly and, as a meanwhile undeniable symptom, the alpine glaciers are not unaffected. Year after year, satellite images reveal how the glaciers are retreating, which not only affects the high alpine habitats or the ice-albedo feedback.
Glacier ski areas are also being forced to take maintenance measures due to the advancing melting of the thousand-year-old ice and the associated exposure of underlying structures in order to be able to maintain operations. Since such measures, such as backfilling terrain depressions, removing rocks or working on the glacier itself, are subject to approval in accordance with the Tyrolean Nature Conservation Act 2005 or in some cases even require an environmental impact assessment in accordance with UVP-G 2000, the State Environmental Prosecutor is involved as a party in such projects . 
"In the procedural work it becomes clear that maintenance measures in glacier ski areas have become an annual practice and all ski areas in Tyrol that use glacier ice are affected. In addition to the glacier tongue, the winters are also getting shorter. Less snowfall inevitably leads to more artificial snow-making on the slopes and thus to the construction of numerous new reservoirs in sensitive alpine habitats. The water required for this is taken from the natural water cycle from the rivers and streams - including negative effects on water ecology.  
"In the opinion of the state environmental lawyer, the decline of the glaciers can no longer be stopped, which means that in the future ski area operators will be increasingly confronted with the question of whether the ever increasing maintenance costs justify the impairment of high alpine and aquatic habitats with at best constant demand."

Share This Article