Fondazione Montagna Sicura (FONDMS), Italy
Fondazione Montagna Sicura
The Safe Mountain Foundation - Fondazione Montagna sicura - was established thanks to the passing of Act 9 on 24th June 2000 by the autonomous region of the Aosta Valley with the intention of promoting the study of phenomena and problems related to the safety, rescue and life in the mountains. The founding partners are the Aosta Valley autonomous region, the municipal council of Courmayeur, the Aosta Valley alpine rescue squad and the Aosta Valley mountain guide association.
It is pursuing the following objectives:
Established at the end of 2002, the Foundation has its seat in the prestigious Villa Cameron in Courmayeur which was donated by Miss Una Cameron, an aristocratic Scot and mountain climber who, in the thirties, had the house built. She donated it to the Region so that a research and conference centre concerning mountains could be established. The villa is situated at the foot of Mont Blanc, at the entrance to the Val Ferret and a five minute walk from the Monte Bianco cable car. It is in a perfect position, given that it is easily reached from France (Haute Savoye) through the Mont Blanc tunnel and because the surrounding area is an excellent outpost for observing all natural phenomena.
All the initiatives were started in the autumn of 2003 thanks to some conventions with the Aosta Valley autonomous region’s committee for territory, the environment and public works. The foundation is presently involved in:
- the management of projects which concern the environment, natural risks, safety and conservation both of a local and cross-border nature and an assessment of the alpine environment from a sustainable development point of view;
The Foundation is the seat of the “Aosta Valley glacial direction cabin”, in agreement with the regional administration’s comittee for territory, the environment and public works.
The direction cabin is supervised by the geologist from the Aosta valley autonomous region and puts together members from the alpine rescue squad and alpine mountain guides as well as referees from institutions such as the National Glaciology Committee, CNR-IRPI and Aosta Valley’s ARPA (Regional Agency for the Protection of the Environment). Its aim is to co-ordinate some initiatives for monitoring Aosta Valley glaciers, to plan combined actions for safeguarding them and to promote, using work-tables, the scientific know-how acquired and the actions undertaken. Since 2004, these ambitious aims have been fulfilled through specific activities:
- the development and updating of a regional glaciological data bank, in synergy with the committee for territory;
The monitoring activities are part of the tasks performed by the “Aosta Valley glacial direction cabin”. Funds come from the Region as well as from the other signatories. Not only, as we have see the direction cabin brings together the people in charge of alpine rescue and mountain guides as well as institutional referees such as the National Glacier Committee, the C.N.R. (National Research Council), Aosta Valley’s A.R.P.A. (Regional Agency for the Protection of the Environment), CVA and the Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso. Each organization is competent in its sphere and together share t heir knowledge giving an important surplus at this structure.
The referent is Jean Pierre Fosson, Director of the Foundation and expert on European projects.