The two Swiss communities of Zernez and Schanf voted against the creation of a buffer zone around the Swiss National Park and thus also against the cooperationcontract „UNESCO Biosphärenreservat Val Müstair-Parc Nazuinal“. Merely the community of Scoul voted for the creation of a buffer zone.
The UNESCO demands a buffer zone between the core area, in this case the Swiss National Park, and the transition area. Hence this outcome leads to the derecognition of the UNESCO-Biosfera-Label of the Val Müstair this autumn.
A biosphere reserve with its 3 zones, core area, buffer zone and transition area, is more than just a protected area. Sustainable regional developement and the relationship between humans and the environment as well as the protection and the preservation of the natural and cultural landscape and the support of the regional economy play a significant part in the biosphere reserve concept. In these concerns the biosphere reserve should be seen as an example for other regions.
Several examples in the alps prove that the people and the economy in a biosphere reserve benefit from this decoration in many ways: The second Swiss biosphere reserve in Entlebuch presents a direct touristic added value of more than 30 million franks and created approximately 400 places of employment. The Austrian biosphere reserve “Großes Walsertal“ is involved in numerous projects dealing with renewable energies to so called mountaineering villages. The French-Italian boarder area around the Monte Viso was awarded as a biosphere reserve in 2013 as well.