The Jorat Natural Park has been recognized as a “Park of National Importance” by the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). Located in the municipal area of Lausanne, it becomes the second peri-urban park in Switzerland after Sihlwald in Zurich.
FOEN has decided that the Jorat Natural Park meets the requirements to receive this type of label: it is located near a town and the area of its central region where the forest remains “free” is a minimum of more than 400 hectares. is. Required. The existence of a charter, and in particular a program of activities focused on sustainable development, also counts in the assessment, the city of Lausanne told Friday.
The park is located in the center of the largest one-piece forest on the Swiss Plateau. However, the label given by FOEN pertains only to the Lausanne region. Neighboring municipalities are not part of it. Some are not wanted, while others (Eplings, Le Mont, Jorat-Menthue and Jorat-Mézires) only act as partners within the Jorat Natural Park Association.
As per the legal framework, the park is made up of two areas. The central area of 440 hectares aims to guarantee the “free development of natural processes”. It is accessible to the public thanks to 37 km of roads, but walking outside these marked routes is prohibited.
The second zone, called the transition zone, acts as a buffer between the central zone and the rest of the forest. In particular, it will host the main reception areas and activities for exploring the heritage of Jorat.
Lausanne officials indicated in their press release that beacons and signage are not yet implemented in the central region, as they are still dependent on ongoing administrative procedures.
Label given for 10 years
Peri-urban parks of this type “contribute to improving the quality of life of populations by offering them various possibilities for exploration, relaxation and education, while promoting and protecting biodiversity and landscapes”, FOEN wrote in its press release. He specifies that the label is provided for ten years.
In addition to the two peri-urban nature parks of Jorat and Sihlwald, there are 16 regional nature parks in Switzerland (French-speaking Switzerland includes four: Jura Vaudois, Gruyere – Pays d’Anht, Doubs and Cheserle) as well as the national park in Graubünden. .