Switzerland in line for 30 new natural parks

14 November 2007 | News story

Protected areas in Switzerland will get a huge boost when 30 new parks are established across the country. Switzerland currently has one national park, two natural world heritage sites, Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn and Monte San Giorgio, two regional parks and one biosphere reserve. The 30 new parks are in the planning stage and the Swiss government will invest 10 million Swiss Francs a year to support this.

Protected areas in Switzerland are essential to protect Switzerland’s diverse wildlife and ecosystems. Of the Swiss species assessed by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, 40% are endangered (mainly amphibians and reptiles). Others like the wolf, the lynx and bears, which had disappeared, are being reintroduced. Wolves in the Jura now have a healthy level of population.

The government is looking forward to the creation of a network of Swiss natural parks based on 10 year management plans. The parks will be in three categories including national natural parks, regional natural parks and periurban natural parks.

National natural parks are large areas that aim to promote the natural evolution of their landscape

Regional natural parks cover at least 100 km2 and conserve and emphasise the high natural and cultural value of the landscape, reinforce economic values based on sustainable development and contribute to enhance the quality of life for people

Periurban parks will be smaller and created next to urban areas, served by public transport to provide the population with access to nature.

 The parks will not only have ecological objectives, but also economic ones. The Swiss National Park in the Grisons brings in 10 Million CHF a year and the indirect value related to employment and revenue another 7 Million CHF.

By investing in the creation of parks, Switzerland hopes to encourage tourism and regional sustainable development as well as the protection of its nature. The creation of more parks in Switzerland will enable the reintroduction of many major species, encourage eco-tourism and generally benefit both people and nature.