The issue

Quarries and gravel pits carve huge chunks out of nature. As well as blighting the landscape, they destroy entire ecosystems, rob many animal and plant species of their habitat, and can even adversely affect groundwater. Sometimes, quarries and gravel pits are also misused as illegal dumps.

Our project

Fondation Franz Weber, supported by its subsidiary association Helvetia Nostra, monitors gravel pits, quarrying projects and dumping schemes in the Swiss canton of Vaud to make sure that these comply with the requirements of environmental, animal and landscape conservation.

In order to protect landscapes from exploitation through quarries and gravel pits, we conduct various legal proceedings and seek intensive dialogue with the businesses and authorities concerned. Our aim is to conserve habitat as far as possible for the animals living in these quarries and gravel pits, and to ensure that such sites can be restored and rehabilitated. This will help to achieve the ecological balance needed to curb the damage caused by projects of this kind.

We are also involved in work groups on several different gravel pit and quarry projects in the canton of Vaud. Furthermore, we comment on administrative decisions and cantonal laws regarding these issues.

Our goals

  • Protect our unspoiled Swiss landscapes from disfigurement
  • Protect the habitats of numerous animals and plants, thus conserving biodiversity
  • Maintain ecosystems
  • Protect nature, wildlife as well as people from dust and noise
  • Re-naturalise sites

Facts and Figures

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0 per cent
OF GRAVEL MINING IN SWITZERLAND IS RUN BY INTERNATIONAL CORPORATIONS SUCH AS HOLCIM
0 billion tonnes
GLOBAL CONSUMPTION OF CONCRETE IN 2012
0 quarries
ARE CURRENTLY IN OPERATION IN SWITZERLAND