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Alpine regional governors commit to promote climate protectio

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BERLIN, April 5 (Xinhua) -- Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Soeder and representatives from six Alpine regions have signed a declaration to protect the Alps from climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, using more renewable energies and shifting road traffic to rail, local media reported on Friday.

Representatives from Germany's Bavaria, Austria's South Tirol, Upper Austria and Salzburg, Swiss' St. Gallen and Graubunden met Thursday on the island of Herrenchiemsee near Munich to develop a cross-border solution, according to Deutsche Presse Agentur.

"The Alpine region is not only a highly sensitive ecosystem but also home, and an economic and recreational area for millions of people," said Soeder.

"Climate protection is one of the central future tasks of our time. We must think and act more ecologically and find powerful answers to the complex challenges posed by climate change - we can only do this together," Soeder stressed.

The signatories agreed on measures such as better protection for people and nature against Alpine natural hazards such as landslides or avalanches and more research into climate change.

To help support their efforts, the Alpine representatives called for a European Union (EU) budget for 2021-2027 that would "ensure that all regions can continue to benefit appropriately from EU funding in the future".

The signatories spoke out in favor of sustainable tourism and the preservation of mountain agriculture in order to preserve the Alps as a living, economic, natural and recreational area.

"We want to promote the special cultural identity of the Alpine region and its cultural bridging function in Europe," the declaration said.

The international commission for Alpine protection (CIPRA) stated that the temperature in the Alps has risen at twice the global average by almost 2 degrees over the past 120 years. All of the glaciers in the Alps, with a few exceptions, could disappear completely by the end of the century, according to CIPRA.

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