Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, 8903 Birmensdorf

Functions of alpine farming from the perspective of the Swiss public

Alpine summer farming shapes the cultural landscape in the Alps. Since this form of agriculture still has a very traditional appearance, a high cultural value and identityforming aspects are attributed to alpine farming. To investigate which functions of alpine farming are valued by different stakeholders and to what extent alpine farming is identity-forming, questionnaire surveys with tourists as well as residents of the AlpFUTUR case-study area Diemtigtal and a Swiss-wide online-survey have been conducted. The production function of alpine farming as well as landscape management, especially for the conservation of species diversity and for recreation, received high importance ratings, whereas alp-touristic offers are slightly less important. Mountain residents put more importance on all functions of alpine farming and identify themselves more strongly with alpine farming. This study offers a basis for society-oriented landscape quality payments, which will be introduced in the alpine pasturing area as well.

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