Swiss organisation

Management organisation of the Swiss side

The management and the financing of the Swiss part of the World Heritage site is divided according to the competence of the several authorities involved in it, namely: local, cantonal and federal.

Model 1: site management of the Swiss side


Local level

On August 20th, 2008, by the name of Fondazione Monte San Giorgio, the Swiss Foundation was established for the management of the site registered in the UNESCO world heritage list. The Foundation Board consists of 7 members that are appointed/elected every four years and representing:


  • the three municipalities belonging to the World Heritage Property/ Core Zone of the site: Brusino Arsizio, Meride, Riva San Vitale
  • the two municipalities belonging to the World Heritage Area/ Buffer Zone of the site: Besazio, Ligornetto, Mendrisio and Stabio
  • the Swiss Commission for UNESCO
  • Mendrisio Tourism


Following the aggregation of Arzo, Rancate and Tremona, on April 14th 2013 the municipalities of Meride and Besazio have also become part of the city of Mendrisio and the new members of the Foundation Council (Consiglio di fondazione) have been designated and their mandates have been renewed.


Following the change in the districts’ composition, a revision of the statutes will be necessary.

Considering that the Swiss Commission for UNESCO has decided not to delegate their representatives in the executive authorities of the managing bodies of the world heritage sites anymore, this aspect will also be revalued during the statutes’ revision.


Aims of the Foundation are (see statutes):


  • to promote the realisation and the management of the new Museum and of the visitors centre, offering the naturalistic heritage of Monte San Giorgio to the public in the first place • to diffuse the UNESCO World Heritage Agreement and the criteria that led to the registration to the UNESCO World Heritage List
  • to promote and coordinate the goals of highlighting the territorial and socioeconomic values, by establishing and maintaining a connection within municipalities, authorities and local associations
  • the Foundation is of public utility and is a non-profit organization



The current members of the Foundation are:


  • Pascal Cattaneo, president, representing the municipality of Mendrisio
  • Fausto Medici, vice-president and delegate in the Transnational Board, representing the municipality of Riva San Vitale
  • Tita Bernasconi, member, representing the municipality of Brusino
  • Pietro Rusconi, member, elected for cooptation
  • Fabrizio Plebani, member, representing the municipality of Stabio
  • Angelo Fumagalli, member, elected for cooptation
  • Marina Ortelli, member, representing Organizzazione Turistica Regionale del Mendrisiotto e Basso Ceresio


The Foundation has assigned the management of the site to a site manager hired at 60% time, Daniele Albisetti. For the management of the Museum of Fossils from Monte San Giorgio, inaugurated on October 13th 2012, the Foundation has hired a part time director (50%), Luca Zulliger, and two employees-receptionists at 60% time, Francesca Salatino and Yvonne Glatz.

Cantonal Level

The Canton Ticino focuses on the achievement of the strategic goals that were defined in the programmatic agreements regarding the site. Furthermore, it guarantees the integration of the exceptional universal value of the site in the cantonal planning (territorial guarantee).

The connection between the Canton Ticino, the Monte San Giorgio Foundation and the municipality of Meride (owner of the building of the Museum of Fossils from Monte San Giorgio) are regulated by a specific agreement whose contents are summarised in the following model:


Agreement between Canton Ticino, Municipality of Meride and Monte San Giorgio Foundation

This agreement established the parts’ competence on every single project and the related federal subsidies shares .

Model 2: Connection between Canton, MSG Foundation and municipality of Meride


The Canton ensures the joint financing of the programme with the Swiss Confederation, in particular, by making credits available for the following projects and activities: 

  • Paleontological and stratigraphic researches on the Monte San Giorgio (competence of the Museo cantonale di storia naturale- Lugano)
  • Transnational scientific platform of the Museum of Fossils from Monte San Giorgio (competence of the Museo cantonale di storia naturale- Lugano)
  • Realisation of exhibition installations at the Museum of Fossils from Monte San Giorgio
  • Management activities at the Museum of fossils from Monte San Giorgio


For projects of its competence, the Canton will provide scientific and technical staff from the Museo cantonale di storia naturale.

Federal Level

The legal basis that allow the Swiss Confederation to distribute financial subsidies for the protection, preservation, valorisation and transmission of the OUV of the goods/items registered in the World Heritage List to the next generations are the following:


  • The federal law on financial help and subsidies (Lsu, RS 616.7)
  • The federal law on the protection of the nature and of the landscape (LPN, RS 451) The required activities focused on four main strategic goals:
  • The preservation of the universal exceptional value of the site
  • The raising of environmental awareness and education
  • Knowledge management and monitoring
  • Communication and territorial guarantee


The Cantons forward their financing requests to the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), on the basis of the “Linee guida per la messa in opera della Convenzione e del patrimonio mondiale”. Financings are defined according to specific goals and determined by the so-called four-year programmatic agreements. The achievement of those goals is annualy valued on the basis of specific indicators.