Project life

An Italian forum for Refuges Sentinelles

© Coll. Refuges Sentinelles
The Glacier Blanc refuge in the Écrins massif is part of the research program Refuges Sentinelles

In its edition of May 30, 2022, the Italian daily Corriere della Sera devoted a full page to the project Refuges Sentinelles through the interview with Raffaella Balzarini, one of the researchers involved in the system and in charge of international cooperation at Labex ITTEM.

Alpine refuges are sentinels of the climate and high-altitude tourism ,” explains the article in the preamble, referring to the definitive closure of the Pilatte refuge in the Ecrins massif due to the melting of the glacier and the risks of collapse, and the early closure of the Italian refuge of Quintino Sella at the foot of Viso due to lack of water.

The issue of water is now at the center of concerns in Alpine refuges, which are trying to become more virtuous in terms of resource management. It is in this context that the article focuses on the Refuges Sentinelles research program conducted within Labex ITTEM, and on ongoing collaborations with Italian researchers. “This summer, a first experimental campaign will begin with the aim of comparing, using a common protocol, Italian shelters and more “rustic” French shelters in terms of environmental management,” explains Raffaella Balzarini. An investigation will be carried out in the Piedmont and Valdotan refuges on the Italian side, and in the Mont-Blanc and Ecrins massif on the French side.

As part of the Business Economics Forum organized by the University of Turin, Raffaella Balzarini will present on June 1 , 2022 the research work linked to the project Refuges sentinelles , during a session dedicated to Alpine refuges . She will speak there, with Philippe Bourdeau (Université Grenoble Alpes) – coordinator of the system – alongside Riccardo Beltramo and Stefano Duglio (University of Turin), Emily Cardoso (National Union of hut caretakers and stopover lodges) and Mara Rizzo (Refuge Bonatti).

In 2002, the International Year of the Mountains, the two Turin academics Riccardo Beltramo and Stefano Duglio published a methodological guide to work towards the development of better environmental management of Alpine refuges. Ten years later, in 2022 – the international year of sustainable mountain development – the Forum will highlight achievements in this area and discuss current trends. He will also discuss upcoming international projects, particularly in collaboration with French researchers in the system. Refuges sentinelles , considering the refuge as a laboratory for observing changes in high mountains.

Go to the event website to follow the session in streaming. The session will take place on June 1, 2022 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The article published on May 30, 2022 in Le Corriere della Sera: