Swiss Sustainability

Swiss Sustainability

Dispatch by Delano Lavigne
Photos by Jimmy Martinello

With the Matterhorn firmly behind us we have left behind the spilling glaciers and towering mountains of one of the most beautiful places on this planet. Its beauty is as much a product of geography as it is the mountain community that has developed in the Zermatt valley. Confident in their purpose as protectors of this high-altitude oasis, Zermatt locals (Zermattians as I would dare to call them) live, breathe and thrive off of the Matterhorn. Their candid love of the mountain has also led to a community that thrives off of tourism and shines as an incredible example of how to develop mountain based tourism.

Swiss SustainabilitySwiss Sustainability
Landscapes in harmony 

Environmental tourism always carries with it discussions surrounding sustainable development, over use, environmental protection etc, all of which should be discussed. From what I have witnesses thus far while traveling through Switzerland, is that those discussions not only took place but were embraced by both the government and private citizens. The way in which access has been developed in areas is a testament to responsible planning and, yes, adequate funding. The trains, trams and trolleys that dot the landscape are virtually seamlessly stitched into the mountain. Of course you can see evidence of human development in areas that you would maybe, if not probably, prefer to keep beyond access but there remains something incredibly impressive about the way in which the Swiss have built restaurants, hotels, huts, lodges, cabins, gondolas and ski hills in harmony with the landscape.

Swiss Sustainability
Looking back at the incredible landscape

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