Pro Natura (Switzerland)

Pro Natura, founded in 1909 in Basel as Swiss League for the Protection of Nature, is the oldest environmental organisation in Switzerland.

Pro Natura
(in German) Schweizerischen Bund für Naturschutz
(in French) Ligue suisse pour la protection de la nature
(in Italian) Lega svizzera per la protezione della natura
(in Romansh) Lia svizra per la protecziun da la natira
(in English) Swiss League for the Protection of Nature
miniatur|Logo von Pro Natura
Banner with the logo of Pro Natura (representing the head of an Alpine ibex).
MottoActing for nature, everywhere!
Formation1909 (1909)[1]
Founded atBasel
TypeNon-governmental organisation
Legal statusNon-profit organisation
PurposeEnvironmental organisation
About 140,000[2]
Official language
German, French and Italian
Subsidiaries24 regional sections[3]
AffiliationsInternational Union for Conservation of Nature
Friends of the Earth
Friends of the Earth Europe
International Commission for the Protection of the Alps[1]
20 million Swiss francs[1]
About 120[1]
Formerly called
Swiss League for the Protection of Nature[4]

Pro Natura takes care of about 700 nature reserves of various sizes throughout Switzerland (250 square kilometres, of which 60 square kilometres are owned by Pro Natura).[1]


In 1909, representatives of the Swiss Society of Natural Sciences founded the Swiss League for the Protection of Nature (German: Schweizerischen Bund für Naturschutz, French: Ligue suisse pour la protection de la nature) to fund and create the Swiss National Park (inaugurated in 1914).[4] In 2000, Pro Natura launched a campaign supporting the creation of a second Swiss National Park.[5]

In 1947, the Swiss League for the Protection of Nature organised an international conference on the protection of nature in Brunnen.[6] It resulted in the creation of the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 1948.[6]

Between 1958 and 1963, the Swiss League for the Protection of Nature, together with the Swiss Heritage Society and the Swiss Alpine Club, established an inventory of landscapes and natural sites of national importance.[6] Based on it, the Swiss Federal Council published the Federal Inventory of Landscapes and Natural Monuments in 1977.[6]

Since 1995, Pro Natura has been a member of the global environmental network Friends of the Earth.[4] In 1997, the Swiss League for the Protection of Nature adopted the name Pro Natura.[4][7]


The four main objectives of Pro Natura are:[2]

They reach their objectives through:[2]


Pro Natura also draws public attention to grievances. The foundation started a media campaign in November 2014 calling for action by the federal authorities regarding excess inventory in the structures for breeding livestock and the eutrophication of fields, which has increased massively since the 1990s, particularly in the case of phosphorus.[8]

Notes and references

  1. "Pro Natura – Switzerland’s number one in conservation" (page visited on 15 March 2018).
  2. (in French) "Pro Natura - Agir pour la nature, partout !" (page visited on 26 July 2016).
  3. (in French) Adresses des sections Pro Natura (page visited on 26 July 2016).
  4. (in French) "Pro Natura - au service de la nature depuis plus de 100 ans" (page visited on 26 July 2016).
  5. (in French) "« Créons ensemble un nouveau parc national ! » - l'historique de la campagne Pro Natura" (page visited on 26 July 2016).
  6. (in French) "Les 10 succès de Pro Natura" (page visited on 26 July 2016).
  7. The choice of a name in Latin allows the organisation to have a unique name across the four linguistic regions of Switzerland. Other organisations with similar names include Pro Helvetia, Pro Infirmis, Pro Juventute, Pro Patria, Pro Senectute, Pro Specie Rara, Pro Velo, etc.
  8. "10vor10 vom 17.11.2014" (in German). Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2014.

See also

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