The «Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch» World Heritage property protects one of the world's most spectacular mountain landscapes, home to towering massifs, unspoilt valleys and the largest glaciated area in the Alps. The area covers a wide range of habitats, from Mediterranean-style steppe to bare rocky mountaintop, and also reveals a long and fascinating human history.
The collision of Africa and Europe resulted over millions of years in the formation of the Alps. Gargantuan forces propelled rock layers over one another, folding and splitting them. At the Tectonic Arena Sardona, shared between the Canton of Glarus, St. Gall and Graubünden, you can see the result of these processes clearly. The region offers dramatic insights into how mountains are formed.
Mountains that rise like pyramids, a lake that stretches its deep blue arms and picturesque villages: the stunning beauty of Monte San Giorgio's countryside is reason enough to be listed as UNESCO World Heritage property. Its uniqueness, however, stems from its hidden treasure – fossils dating back 240 million years. Back then Monte San Giorgio's rocks formed a marine lagoon in a sub- tropical region. Today, the fossil museum in Meride offers exciting insights into this mysterious world.
Vines have been planted here as early as the 11th century on narrow terraces supported by stonewalls. Since then, generations of winegrowers have cultivated this exceptional mosaic with great care. The cultural landscape consisting of fourteen villages is a remarkable reflection of how the area was able to thrive thanks to a well-balanced interaction between the local people and the environment.
The aim of the Emerald Area Oberaargau Association is to promote a diverse and attractive cultural landscape in Switzerland's current largest Emerald Network region. Formerly frequent and now rare or completely lost landscape elements are being restored and given new importance. Around 30 Emerald species endangered throughout Europe exist in the Emerald region of Oberaargau. The 2009-2014 regenerated project has led to an increase in species diversity and to the long-term conservation and promotion of target species (=Emerald species) - such as the dragonfly «Helmazurjungfer» and the «Yellow-bellied toad» - and their habitats.