Alps glacier melts out Switzerland and Italy border

 Thursday, July 28, 2022 


A melting glacier called Theodul in the Alps forces to shift the border between Switzerland and Italy borders. Experts say this could mean that the refuge between Teta Grigia is to split between two countries.
The height of the glacier is 3480 meters (11417ft) at Testa Frigia peak. The glacier is slowly sweeping underneath. The conflict between the countries began in 2018 and now it is becoming even more difficult to identify.
The refuge was built on a rocky outcrop in 1984. The 40 beds and long wooden tables were considered to be under Italian territory. As the glacier melts, two-thirds of the lodge, the restaurant and most of the beds are under southern Switzerland territory.
The issue is now vital as the area is home to the world’s largest ski resort. The resort is developing and with the newest cable car station installed the area is likely to become a prominent tourist attraction soon.
The area relies entirely on tourism and thus knowing the borders is extremely necessary for ensuring the rules and priorities of both countries.
In this regard, an agreement has been signed out in Florence in November 2021. However, the outcome of the final decision would not be known until it is rubber-stamped by Swiss authorities. This stamping cannot happen before 2023.
Alain Wicht, the chief border official for Switzerland’s national mapping agency has stated that they agreed to the difference.
The countries are currently in negotiations for deciding the border on the map.
Wicht said that this might not have been an issue but since there is a building involved with ‘economic value’ the decision has to be made soon.
Jean-Philippe Amstein who is a former Swisstopo chief said this kind of dispute is generally managed by exchanging a small token of a parcel of land between the countries. In this case, he said that Switzerland is not interested in obtaining a piece of the glacier, and the Italians are unable to compensate for the loss of Swiss surface area.
The years of negotiation have long delayed the refuge resorts innovation. The villages from both sides have suffered as the authorities have not been able to formulate a specific plan for renovating the resort. Now, this issue further complicates the opening of the new cable car in the resort.

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