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Victory and defeat for new protected areas

Mar 16, 2016 / alpMedia
New protected areas are valuable for biodiversity, with many also intended to boost the local economy. There are nevertheless frequent reservations.
Image caption:
Projects for protected areas are often at odds with the needs of agriculture or tourism. © berggeist007 /

Since the beginning of 2016 the landscape around Monte Viso, the symbolic mountain of the Cottian Alps in Italy, has been a nature park. This new facet of the Alpine-wide network of protected areas should have been bigger but, fearing the imposition of limitations, some municipalities in the Pellice valley did not wish to join the park.

The promotors of the “Chiemsee-Chiemgau Alps” nature park project were less successful. Rejected by twelve of the original 31 municipalities that were part of the plan, the project must for the time being be considered a failure. “The nature park was intended to promote our region and strengthen our tourist profile”, says Marc Nitschke, mayor of Übersee (Germany) and chairman of the “Alliance in the Alps” network of municipalities, in support of the idea. But the fears of the agricultural sector in particular were too great. “We did not manage to make the opportunities clear to all the farming representatives or demonstrate that the nature park would not have meant limitations for them.”

The Adula national park project is aimed at creating a combination of nature and business in the heart of Switzerland. The draft charter is currently being revised. Highly diverse caveats have to be weighed up against each other, for example the desire for more freedom of movement for mountain enthusiasts, or fewer exceptions for particular user groups in order to foster nature development in the core zone. Meanwhile the go-ahead for the further development of another project, the “Espace Belledonne”, has now just come from Paris. An alliance of municipalities, businesses and associations wants to establish this regional nature park in the French Alps and is now set to draw up its charter.

Sources and further information: (it), (it), (de), (de, it), (de)

Filed under: alpMedia 04/2016