Guarding our assets
Damage to the countryside can be the result either of natural forces or the use to which the area is put. If the vegetation cover is destroyed and not repaired, erosion will cause the bare patches to increase in size. Zermatt Bergbahnen AG has set a target of restoring existing areas of damage to their natural state.
Re-establishing vegetation over large areas at high altitude is an extremely challenging task, but one that is essential in many places in order to provide protection from erosion and reduce the harm to the natural surroundings. At a trial site on Aroleid, tests are being carried out by experts in an effort to identify the ideal types of planting for exposed high-altitude slopes.
2013 Revegetation Award
Zermatt Bergbahnen AG has been awarded the 2013 Revegetation Award in recognition of its work in the area of renaturation. The award was given by the Swiss Bioengineering Association’s working group for high-altitude restoration (AGHB), which has been promoting the enhancement of the Alpine region by appropriate renaturation since 1996. The prize is awarded every two years.
The rampant expansion of tourist infrastructure some decades ago left a legacy of environmental destruction affecting many resorts, including Zermatt. This led to Zermatt Bergbahnen AG creating an inventory of the damage and remaining blights on the scenery. A renaturation plan was drawn up and is updated annually. Its implementation has seen the successive remediation of damaged sites, with over 85% of priority areas now repaired.
All construction work carried out by Zermatt Bergbahnen AG, as well as renaturation and planting projects, are supervised by a qualified environmental expert. The aim of this is not only to ensure that environmental laws are observed, but also that all work is planned and carried out with the protection and long-term needs of the environment in mind. The monitor briefs the construction team, raises their awareness of ecological processes and also ensures that visitor information is provided.