Pro Montes Prize 2018


For the future of the alpine cultural landscape


The ProMontesPrize distinguishes scientific research work which with new insights contributes to safeguarding the future of the alpine cultural landscape.

Within the framework of the joint Junior Researcher Conference, which takes place every two years, ''Phil.Alp'' supported by the Interacademic Commission for Alpine Studies, ICAS and ''ProMontesPrize", PMP, supported by the Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research, SSAF, the five of the average of 25 delegates speaking on the subject are nominated as PMP candidates whose research topic comes closest to the following criteria: Relevance with regard to safeguarding the future of the alpine cultural landscape, practical relevance, quality of the work in terms of content. At the conference, the PMP jury chooses the winner of the ProMontesPrize, also based on the presentation. The prize money now amounts to 3,000 Swiss Francs. The prize winner also receives project-related support in the form of 20,000 Swiss Francs, as long as a follow-up research project is submitted that corresponds to the PMP criteria.

In 2018, the conference takes place on March 1 & 2 in FRIBOURG.

The call for tender and the program download link – in French – of the Junior Researcher Conference can be found at:

The Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research feels compelled to specifically promote the research for safeguarding the future of the culture-based alpine landscapes because they are not taken into account sufficiently by the established conservation initiatives, in contrast to the natural forest and moor landscapes.

Since the 20th century, many rapid upheavals have also occurred in the Alpine region. For example, the mountain forest was largely able to recover from the ruthless exploitation in the 19th century and the grassy landscape of the alpine level also benefited from conservation measures. On the other hand, the traditional cultural landscape has been suffering up to today from a wide variety of development trends of recent decades. With the development of tourism and transport, new job opportunities have arisen for the mountain population which have made landscape conservation negligible. However, the biggest threat to the alpine cultural landscape and to the third of its biodiversity spectrum which is dependent on it arises from the existence or non-existence of agriculture itself. On the one hand, its intensification of profitable locations leads to the decline of species. On the other hand, the management task also leads to the decline of species because of the competitive reforestation where the lack of jobs and public service force migration.

Safeguarding the future for the alpine cultural landscape requires a whole set of measures; from innovative private commitments to paving the way through legislation.

The Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research is hoping that this set of measures can be supplemented with new insights from junior research.

In the interests of the objective of the ProMontesPrize:

Alpine Biodiversity instead of Alpine Fallow Land!


Article en français




Former winners of the ProMontesPrize:

PMP 2016: Benjamin Dietre, Dissertant am Institut für Botanik der Universität Innsbruck, mit: "Impact de l’agro-pastoralisme sur la biodiversité des paysages alpins de la Basse Engadine pendant les 10’000 dernières années"

PMP 2014: Christoph Schwörer, Dissertant am Oeschger Zentrum der Universität Bern, mit: "Drivers of Holocene Vegetation Dynamics in the Northwestern Swiss Alps"

PMP 2012: Aline Andrey, Dissertantin an der Universität Bern, mit:
"Effets à court terme de la fertilisation et de l'irrigation sur la biodiversité des prairies de fauche en milieu subalpin"