Insights - Outlooks
The serie “Insights – Outlooks” informs readers about interesting developments in the Jungfrau-Aletsch World Heritage region three times per year.
The landscape of the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch World Heritage Region is characterized by a wide variety of geological and geomorphological forms and processes. Some of the most noticeable processes include falling rocks, rock avalanches, floods, snow avalanches, mountain torrents, and debris flows. These natural events shape and alter the landscape and are among the reasons why the Jungfrau-Aletsch territory was declared a World Heritage Region in the first place. But when these natural events threaten people or property, they become natural hazards. Especially in view of climate change and recent socio-economic developments, such hazards pose major challenges to our society given the sensitivity of mountain areas to environmental changes. This report discusses these natural processes and hazards, and their consequences for the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch World Heritage Region. More information (in German) (PDF, 641KB)
Landscape quality in the World Heritage region: examples from Valais
The Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage region is characterized by cultural landscapes of high aesthetic, cultural, and ecological values. Meadows, alpine pastures, landscape mosaics with dry and irrigated patches, impressive hedges and solitary landmark trees, steep terraced vineyards, and huddled villages with closely clustered traditional wooden buildings are their hallmarks. The intensively farmed plains with their varying crops have qualities as well. But what is the outlook for the World Heritage region’s valuable landscapes? Can their qualities be preserved in light of ongoing structural changes in agriculture? More information (in German) (PDF, 823KB)
More than a barren landscape – precious habitats in the high mountains of the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage Site
The high mountain landscape of the Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to numerous natural habitats that have remained largely undisturbed by humans. Highly specialized organisms have adapted themselves to harsh living conditions, successfully colonizing craggy areas of snow and ice that seem inhospitable to life. Indeed, we must allow ourselves to look past the initial appearance of barrenness and inspect things more closely.
From the western green lizard to Tayloria rudolphiana moss – biodiversity in the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage region
The Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage region is incredibly rich in flora and fauna. Indeed, certain species and subspecies can only be found in this environment. This lends particular weight to the need to preserve biodiversity in the region. But can we fulfil this responsibility in the face of the many changes and threats occurring today?
Economy and society: the World Heritage region in transition
The economic and societal structures in the region surrounding the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage site are constantly changing. For example, the share of people working in agriculture has decreased markedly in recent years. Today, over two-thirds of the working population is active in the service sector, especially [MT1] in tourism, transport, and health services.
Forests in the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch World Heritage region: diverse, dynamic, and invaluable
Forests perform many important functions for society. While our planet is losing large areas of forest daily, forests in the European Alps are expanding and changing the Alpine landscape – including in the World Heritage region.
Clubs and societies in the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch World Heritage region
Clubs and societies offer a space for fun and games, sports, and cultural activities and are important places of social identity building. What kinds of associations exist in and around the World Heritage site, and what do they do?
Swiss Alps UNESCO World Heritage site: an inspirational space
Awful or awesome: the impressive alpine landscape has fascinated and inspired for hundreds of years. For the Jungfrau-Aletsch region in the Swiss Alps, its beauty and ability to inspire were criteria for its acceptance onto the UNESCO World Natural Heritage List.
Cultural landscapes of the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch World Heritage Region: dynamic and elusive?
Can you remember what the landscape outside your front door looked like 20 years ago? Cultural landscapes change continually, often without our being aware of it. Measuring the change is difficult, and guiding it is highly challenging.
In the Water Tower of Europe – Perspectives and Challenges
Water is the basis of all life. Mountain springs supply us with water to drink and for services. Water shapes and greens our landscape, creates habitat for plants and animals. What would the World Heritage region be without its streams and waterfalls?
Recreational Landscape Use – Outdoor Activities in the World Heritage Region
Both locals and tourists appreciate the space for recreation in the World Heritage region’s landscape. Recreational landscape use is harming local flora and fauna in some cases, yet such interaction with the environment also serves to heighten people’s awareness of the value of our natural world.
World Heritage Region Also Shaped by Agriculture
The landscape found in the Swiss alpine region Jungfrau-Aletsch has attracted visitors for centuries. A decisive part of its appeal lies in the enduring contrast between a well-tended, cultural landscape, on the one side, and “wild nature”, on the other. But agriculture in the region is now subject to big changes due to structural transformation in the sector. To what extent could this threaten the values of the World Heritage Site?
Time’s Passage Written in the Glaciers of the Jungfrau-Aletsch World Heritage Site
Not only have the beautiful glaciers in the Jungfrau-Aletsch region inspired visitors and locals alike for centuries, they were one of the main reasons it was named a UNESCO World Heritage site. But our warming climate is causing the glaciers to retreat, presenting numerous challenges to the people living in the alpine region.
Of Lichen and Butterflies – Biodiversity in the World Heritage Region
The value of biodiversity is inestimable, as every living thing contributes to an ecological balance that keeps our rivers clean and soils fertile, among much else. What lies in store for species like the glacier flea, the blunt-leaved willow, and the mountain hare when changes in land use and climate change transform the environment?