Regional Nature park Pfyn-Finges, Switzerland
The Nature park Pfyn-Finges situated in the Swiss Valais unites a variety of landscapes, from glaciers to vineyards or wetlands and cultural characteristics at the linguistic border of German and French. The Pfyn forest, one of the biggest coherent pine forests in the Alps with valuable meadow landscapes, lies at the heart of the nature park.
The protected area of 17 km2 lies in a peri-urban region of 12 communities and 280 km2 which is inhabited by around 30.000 people. It connects agglomeration and rural Alpine villages as well as the Alpine touristic center Leukerbad. The most important objectives of regional development are the high quality use of local resources, values and traditions and their preservation. Participatory visitor guidance, creation of a network of various stakeholders, development of sustainable tourism offers and local value chains are parts of that strategy. The nature park represents the link between regional stakeholders, the population and the two regions Upper and Lower Valais.
InnovAlps Workshop report
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Nature park Tiroler Lech, Austria
The Nature park Tiroler Lech in the northwest of Tirol exists since 2006 and is centered around the landscape of the river Lech, one of the last free-flowing rivers of the Alps. The perimeter of the protected area also includes the mixed mountain forests around the valley. There is a rich biodiversity with rare species of plant and animal life to be found with presences of Junipers, natter jack toads, dwarf bulrushes or sandpipers.
24 communities form the nature park region Tiroler Lech with an area of around 860 km2 of which 40km2 represent the nature park itself and with a population of 22.000. Contrary to conventional ski tourism this region aims at developing a sustainable tourism. Based on its extraordinary natural qualities a model region for sustainable economy and nature-based tourism of high quality should be created with the funding of regional economic programs. The popular hiking trail Lechweg connects as the lighthouse project at the center of this strategy different territories and actors. Over the last years alternative trails, a cycleway and a range of regional products have been developed to increase the touristic offer. By increasing the summer tourism, a valorisation of the agricultural and the gastronomic sector could be achieved.
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Regional Nature park Baronnies provençales, France
The area of the Nature park Baronnies Provençales in the southern French Prealps touches the two regions Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. At the cross-section of Mediterranean and Alpine climatic and cultural influences a unique natural and cultural landscape has been formed in the Baronnies mountain range. Apart from the rich biodiversity of the territory the landscape formed by traditional forms of agriculture (e.g. olives, lavender) and the historic buildings and centres characterise the nature park.
86 rural communities, dominated by agriculture, adhere to an area of 1500 km2 and 31.000 inhabitants. The most important objectives included in the park’s charter are the valorisation of natural and cultural assets, the development of an economy which is based on identity and a well-balanced spatial development. Preservation of historic buildings and cultural landscapes, valorisation of regional products, nature protection and sustainable tourism are current fields of regional development. Projects linking consumers and producers for the creation of regional value chains and to support local farmers are a priority in this agricultural region.