Project

Federal Strategy for the Development of Rural and Mountain Areas

Working on behalf of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), EBP is helping the Institute of Geography at the University of Bern to draft an expert report on the development of rural and mountain regions in Switzerland. The report represents a strategic recommendation for the Federal Council on how to strengthen sustainable development in rural and mountain areas in Switzerland.

Rural and mountain areas in Switzerland are more than simply a place to live. They also host substantial economic activities and, furthermore, are of high importance for human recreation and ecological quality . Due to a parliamentary motion (Maissen Motion (11.3927)), the Swiss Federal Council has been mandated to develop a coherent federal strategy for these areas. Working together with the cantons and local communities, such a strategy should support rural and mountain areas to better access and use their economic, cultural and ecological potential for sustainable regional development.

The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) has commissioned a commission of experts to develop a report  for serving as the conceptual baseline for the envisioned strategy for rural and mountain regions. Under the direction of the Institute of Geography at the University of Bern, EBP has played a key role in helping this commission of experts to draft an expert report. 

The expert report analyses the significance and function of the rural and mountain areas in Switzerland. It highlights the central challenges for the sustainable development of these areas. In addition to this, the report examines existing federal policies for possible gaps as well as any need for action. At the core of the report are the vision, strategic objectives and two main pillars of political action that are to serve as a basis for federal policies relating to the development of rural and mountain areas in the coming years. The expert report also includes a governance model co-ordinating political action at federal, cantonal and regional levels and closes with recommendations for the implementation or the strategy.

Picture Credits: H. Mayer