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Swiss set aside more land for nature

Switzerland will soon have more nature parks of national and regional significance, the Federal Environment Office announced on Friday.

In total, the Environment Office looked at 11 applications submitted in early 2009 for the establishment and operation of new parks across the country. Two received park status and seven others were put on a short list as official “candidates”.

They were awarded grants worth SFr5.6 million ($5.3 million) in all.

The two newly accredited parks in cantons Solothurn and Zurich were deemed “of national importance”, it said. Switzerland now has four such parks, including the Swiss National Park and the Entlebuch Biosphere.

Two years after Switzerland set up a legal foundation for the creation and operation of nature parks, there are now three in operation and 14 in development. Combined, the areas cover 5,750 square kilometres, about 14 per cent of the Switzerland’s total land area.

The parks will benefit from a promotional campaign run by the national tourist office, Switzerland Tourism.

Other parks cover areas in cantons Neuchâtel, Jura, Bern, Valais, Aargau and Graubünden. and agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR