24.08.2011 - UNESCO Office in Venice

Water on Water. From the Swiss Alps to Venice, a journey to raise awareness and promote tourism

©Jo in RiederalpThe Great Aletsch Glacier (Grosser Aletschgletscher), Valais

The UNESCO Venice Office will host, on Friday 26 August at 11.30 am., the official reception “Water on Water”, an event aiming to celebrate the arrival of a group of boats from Switzerland the next day. The journey along the historical river route from the Alps to the Adriatic Sea symbolically retraces the cycle of water from eternal glaciers to rain; it further intends to illustrate innovative ideas for tourism, a combination of nature, culture and sport. This, as part of a series of initiatives and projects launched by the Fiesch Sports & Holiday Centre, located in the UNESCO World Heritage natural property of Aletsch. The display of a fragment of ice from Aletsch glacier will highlight this special occasion.

The World Heritage site of Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch (first inscribed in 2001, extended in 2007) provides an outstanding example of the formation of the High Alps, including the most glaciated part of the mountain range and the largest glacier in Eurasia. It features a wide diversity of ecosystems, including successional stages due particularly to the retreat of glaciers resulting from climate change. The site is of outstanding universal value both for its beauty and for the wealth of information it contains about the formation of mountains and glaciers, as well as ongoing climate change. It is also invaluable in terms of the ecological and biological processes it illustrates, notably through plan succession. Its impressive landscape has played an important role in European art, literature, mountaineering and alpine tourism.

The scenic and aesthetic appeal is one of the most dramatic in the Alps, as evidenced by the long history of international visitation. Glaciation is the most extensive in the Alps. The Aletsch is the largest and longest glacier in western Eurasia in terms of area (128km2), length (23km) and depth (900m). The extensive glaciation and rugged topography, as well as protection measures dating back to 1933, have resulted in this being one of the most (if not the most) undisturbed natural areas in the Alps.

Further to the inscription of Aletsch on the World Heritage list, the Fiesch Sports & Holiday Centre in Valais plans to raise its profile by attracting the public, particularly the youth, and to promote tourism with a perfect combination of nature, culture and sport. To this end, a boat trek has been organised from Switzerland to La Serenissima, symbolically carrying water from the Aletsch Glacier to the Adriatic sea. Three boats, their crews and their precious cargo will reach the Grand Canal on Saturday 28 August.

World Heritage List : Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch


For further information:

Claudio Rossetti, Managing Director
Fiesch Sports & Holiday Centre
email: info(at)asconavenezia.org
Website: www.monteverita.org

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