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Eight new nature parks in Switzerland

Six of the eight new regional nature parks are in the Alps.

Six of the eight new regional nature parks are in the Alps. © D7000Nikon / flickr.com

The first national park in the Alps was established in the Engadine in 1914. Since then there have been very few efforts in Switzerland to create other protected areas.
But following the establishment in 2007 of a legal basis for the creation of new parks, the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) recognised eight regional nature parks at the beginning of September.
Switzerland now has all together twelve parks of national significance as well as the Swiss National Park on the border with Italy. Five other nature parks are now being set up. While the parks satisfy the requirements for a nature park in terms of natural territory and landscape, local residents still need to give their approval. There is also a project for a new national park in Ticino. The Parco nazionale del Locarnese has been recognised as a candidate by the FOEN.
The total combined surface area of the twenty protected areas either already in place or currently being established is approximately the size of the Canton of Grisons. Or, to put it differently, around 20 per cent of Switzerland is now under protection. The ratio across the Alpine region as a whole is in average 25 per cent.
Source and additional information:
http://paerke.ch/de/pdf/medien, www.bafu.admin.ch/paerke