The spectacular Lavaux region on the banks of Lake Geneva is again at the heart of a battle between environmentalists and winegrowers over how much development should be allowed in the UNESCO heritage area. (Julie Hunt, swissinfo.ch)
The area has been preserved in its original state thanks to the acceptance by Swiss voters of two initiatives launched by environmentalist Franz Weber. Now a third Weber initiative is going to the vote, calling for stricter planning regulations to deal with unrestrained property speculation which he says is slowly eating away at the region.
Wine grower Constant Jomini is in favour of a counter proposal. He says the region is already well protected by existing cantonal and federal laws, so much so that UNESCO granted it World Heritage status as a ‘cultural landscape’ in 2007.
He thinks the counter proposal, which has cross-party support, will ensure the region’s socio-economic development and protection, rather than radical measures to conserve it.