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Presentation of SILMAS

Researchers, technicians, academics and managers will spend three years working on different focus areas related to the Alpine lakes:

Like any other sensitive environment, the Alpine lakes have to contend with the effects of climate change, which are already noticeable today. The Alpine glaciers are estimated to have shrunk to only half the size they were in 1850 (*source: study by the University of Zurich Department of Geography).
Future changes in the Alpine climate (average temperatures, extreme temperatures, rainfall patterns, etc.) will have inevitable repercussions on lake ecosystems and on the way the complex systems formed by these large lakes work.
It is urgent to study the effects of climate change on Alpine lakes so that we can quickly provide tools for adapting.


The Alpine lakes are attractive areas for businesses and tourism professionals alike. Every year, around one million visitors come to enjoy all the Italian lakes have to offer! But the lakes are also home to a particularly fragile natural heritage. Sound lake management involves reconciling different ways of using the water and the shores, in the face of demands and pressure from contradictory interests. Lake managers must find a way of reconciling and balancing activities as varied as fishing, motor sports, town planning and environmental protection.


Raising public awareness of the current problems and future issues associated with the Alpine lakes must help people realise how fragile this environment is and how important it is to protect it.A working group has been formed to design awareness-raising initiatives for every sector of the public, including tourists, elected representatives, industrialists, school children and local residents.A general presentation of the initiatives will take place on five lakes in the project's five partner countries on 22 March 2012, which is World Water Day.

Project objectives


  • Share ideas and experience across a European network;
  • Produce concrete tools ((guides, training programmes, educational games) to help Alpine lake managers protect the resources;
  • Raise public awareness of the need to protect and sustainably manage this fragile environment.