Nature parks like Parc Ela consist of unspoilt natural and cultural landscapes. The population resident in a nature park has opted to preserve the natural and cultural heritage and to use it with respect. Nature parks offer visitors a genuine experience of nature, fascinating stories, contacts with the local population, and an opportunity to enjoy regional specialities.
The Swiss Nature Park Act stipulates three conditions in order for a region to be recognised as a nature park:
1. Strong nature and landscape values
Nature parks are situated in landscapes of exceptional beauty with diverse natural habitats and a species-rich flora and fauna. The cultural landscapes and settlements within the nature parks are nurtured and largely intact.
2. The population is fully behind the nature park
The initiative to create a nature park has to come from the local population. The population and various interest groups are involved in the project planning, establishment and running of a nature park. The municipalities are represented on the body sponsoring the park.
3. Preserving values and promoting sustainable economic activity
The diversity of the natural setting and the beauty of the landscape of a nature park are to be preserved and enhanced in the long term. Nature parks also give valuable impetus towards strengthening sustainable economic activity.