A project to set up a major nature park around the town of Locarno in southern Switzerland has failed at the ballot box.
A majority of voters in six out of the eight municipalities involved in the government-sponsored project came out against it, despite recommendations by the local councils for approval.
The promoters argued a 218-square kilometre park from the Brissago Islands on Lake Maggiore to the village of Bosco Gurin in the Vallemaggia district would help boost tourism and regional products.
The centre of the planned park were two sparsely populated alpine valleys about 30km from the subtropical climate of Lake Maggiore.
In reaction to Sunday’s vote, Swiss Parks Network,external link representing the about 20 regional nature parks across the country, has called on the government to reconsider its policy for protected areas.
Another nature park project was thrown out in local votes two years ago.
The only existing National Park was founded in southeastern Switzerland in 1914. It has an area of 174km² and is the largest protected area of the country.