What they say: read the full testimonials

Tiphaine Duperier - Mountain guide

"If we consider ecology in the current sense of the word, this thinking aims to improve the balance between humans and their natural environment, as well as to protect it. Instinctively, I feel close to this way of thinking and acting. My core business, my passion, is directly linked to our environment, so getting involved in its protection is a key issue. To try to invest in this protection on a daily basis, I've focused on my way of consuming: local, responsible, with as little packaging as possible. I have little room for manoeuvre, as my biggest investment would be to reduce my travel, but as a mountain guide, I have to admit that the situation is complicated.

This question raises a number of contradictions: how can we reconcile tourism with environmental protection? I commute for work, and living in Villaret du Nial, it's hard to reduce my commute. I live thanks to tourism, and this sector is responsible for 11% of greenhouse gas emissions*, and these emissions contribute to global warming and consequently to the lack of snow, which threatens my job. What we also know is that these emissions are mainly linked to transporting people to our resorts (57%*). If we look at the statistics, 31%** of GHGs (greenhouse gases) emissions come from the transport sector, more than half of which from private vehicles. It's a good start, because the field of action is targeted!

If we are to have a tangible impact on these emissions and thus find a balance with our environment, we need to review our economic fabric. To limit the need to travel, we need to be able to do our shopping locally, the majority of local players need to be able to find accommodation locally, and public transport needs to be developed. It's now up to mountain communities to keep their residents in the heart of the resorts, because ecologically and socially, the stakes are high.

*Source: Ademe "Bilan des émissions de GES du secteur du tourisme en France" April 2021 - 2018 data, groupe-ecomedia.com
**Source: CITEPA, Secten 2020 report, notre-environnement.gouv.fr "


André Legrand, resident of Val d'Isère

"Sustainable development is an important subject, but there's good and bad in what we do with it. But if it's 'neither done nor to be done', what's the point in spending so much? The Prariond works, for example: yes, the road has changed, it's better for driving, but what about the buses, which can barely stop? And a little less concrete wouldn't hurt. In short, it's good to evolve, but what's important is not to alter the resort's character and to preserve nature. I love fishing, I often go fishing at the dam and I see that people are disgusting. There's no respect. I once saw a truck stop and dump its entire load into the dam: what can you do about that? I'm willing to do more, but you have to have the means. They talk about sorting vegetable scraps: I'm all for that, but inside a home it's just not possible.

Obviously, I'm worried about the future and my children. I'm willing to do anything, but we need to think about more collective solutions. Val d'Isère is my village, it's a pleasant place to live, and I don't mind tourists: they help to set the mood too. We mustn't think only of ourselves: let's rather encourage a broad mindset."


Léa and Louis, aged 10

We went to meet Léa and Louis to find out what they think about nature, what they like to do in it, their vision of the village and life in the mountains. It was a lively exchange in which the answers came thick and fast!

"In nature, I observe and watch animals: eagles, marmots..." explains Léa; "I walk in the mountains and build huts" describes Louis.

Is preserving nature important to you? They both nod without hesitation.

Léa adds: "Animals can do a lot of the same things as humans. They work too, not at work like we do, but they look for food, shelter... If there were no animals on earth, we wouldn't be here."

Louis: "I'm happy to be in Val d'Isère rather than in the city. Here, there are mountains, vegetation and peace and quiet. In the city, tall buildings replace mountains."

Léa: "I like the altitude, getting away from it all, seeing other things. It's always the same buildings in town. In the mountains, it's different, it changes every day!"

Louis: "For me, the most important thing to protect is the ski resort. I like skiing, and it attracts tourists and lets you meet people. Thanks to the ski lessons, I've met kids from other parts of France and we've become buddies."

Léa: "I want to look after animals, both pets and outdoor animals, to be able to pick fruit in nature, collect things... because it all feels good and helps you to be in a good mood."

As for ideas for things to change, they have their ideas too.

Louis: "I'd like fewer buildings, more cottages like before."

Léa: "Yes, there's also more and more construction, which means more houses. We're squeezed in tighter and tighter, and we have less space to move around in. We have to look after each other and nature, and be careful not to throw away garbage or cigarette butts.

Louis: "We've got to stop breaking up the mountain to build houses. Let's make hiking trails instead!"