Alpine protection rules on the menu
The eight parties of the Alpine convention held talks in Bavaria last week. Germany, which is chairing the convention until November 2004, presented a ten-point plan for swift implementation of the convention's nine protocols on issues ranging from transport, energy and forests to soil protection. Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and Italy have now ratified the protocols. Little progress is being made towards ratification by the other four - Switzerland, France, Slovenia and Monaco - according to the German environment ministry. See Alpine protection commission.