As long as the Swiss and many expats have their teams (German, English, Spanish, Portuguese…) still in play, the World Cup is impossible to ignore. So it’s refreshing to have outdoor enthusiasts, such as the two Lausanne women, one who climbed Everest, the other who base-jumped off the Matterhorn, remind us about other things, notably mountains. Sophie Lavaud set out to climb the world’s highest peak, as reported in a previous issue of Le News, and not only succeeded but also raised funds for Norlha, an NGO supporting mountain communities.
Switzerland has one of the most advanced approaches to sustainable alpine development. This is where its expertise needs to be activated internationally, whether helping mountain villages in Afghanistan, Nepal or New Guinea, or initiating projects that will protect the environment with a more intelligent use of local resources, including water.
Bees are another issue. Europe and North America are facing a severe threat of not having enough pollinators, particularly for fruit trees. Switzerland barely produces a third of its own honey needs. Urban beekeeping, however, is doing well. Basel has too many bees competing for pollen, so residents are being asked to plant more flowers and go easy on the insecticides.
And finally, books. The repossession of Payot, Suisse romande’s leading book chain, by Pascal Vandenberghe is good news for Swiss publishing, local authors and readers. But the challenge remains: how to inspire young people to read.