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The Entlebuch Biosphere Reserve is located at the foot of the Alps in the central part of Switzerland. It covers some 39,000 hectares and reaches an altitude of 2,350 meters above sea level. Few regions in the country have natural and cultural landscapes that are as intact as those in Entlebuch. It includes peat bogs and raised bogs, alluvial and riverine forests, as well as complete cave systems, such as the Schrattenfluh and the Napf area.
There are some 17,000 people living in the area (2000) and the populations embarked in a highly participative approach in making the biosphere reserve proposal. Public meetings were held in the eight communities concerned, which approved the proposal with a vast majority. The inhabitants in Entlebuch aim at promoting regional products, cultivating natural resources (grass, wood, and landscape) and developing ecotourism.
A project on monitoring the success of sustainable regional development is currently underway. It will develop aims and indicators for ecotourism, agriculture and forestry.