Eight regions in the Swiss Alps have applied for the label of park of national importance with a total area of nearly 2,600 square kilometres.This content was published on January 7, 2011 - 15:14
The Federal Environment Office said on Friday that the requests would be examined and decisions be taken by September to open the new parks next year.
There are already four regional nature parks dotted across the country – covering about 5,800km2.
Regional parks are partly populated rural areas that have both high natural and cultural values.
One of the key condition for the label, which comes with financial government subsidies, is the support of the local population for a park project.
Moves are also underway for the establishment of a second national park, which is subject to stricter rules, besides the one in the Engadine Valley which was founded nearly 100 years ago.
The authorities aim for parkland to eventually cover 18 per cent of the Swiss territory.
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