Switzerland's Aletsch glacier up for UNESCO status
The Aletsch glacier is the longest glacier in the Alps. Whilst some want it named as a UNESCO region of world heritage, others feel this status would place restrictions on tourism and construction.
The Aletsch glacier stretches majestically along 24km to meet the famous massif of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains. It is an unspoiled icy world of unique beauty and the longest glacier in the Alps. Switzerland wants to have the Aletsch region nominated by UNESCO as a region of world heritage, placinge the glacier on a par with the Galapago islands or Yellowstone park. In the middle of the Alpine chain, Switzerland could be the first and only Alpine country to be awarded UNESCO heritage status for a mountain region. Conservationists all agree that this international distinction would be the peak for the Aletsch, attracting tourists and preserving the natural beauty. But world heritage status has its price - the entire Aletsch area will have to be put under strict control. This means that no new cable cars for the areas thriving ski resorts can be built. The existing national ban on building new facilities will be practically sealed forever by UNESCO. Produced by ORFFULL SYNOPSIS