To date, the Foundation has invested 13 million Swiss francs in the development of the institution; the business has to do without public funds, and it cannot support larger investments on its own. In order to continue to be successful in the future, however, these investments have become unavoidable. On the one hand, the existing infrastructure must be modernized, and on the other, new exhibitions must be built to better communicate the richness of the ecosystems and their numerous inhabitants, especially to children and young people. This will help the Papiliorama to achieve stable visitor numbers in the long term and thus secure a broad economical basis of its own.
The Project 2030
A new breeding station for butterflies, conference and seminar rooms, room for educational programs, a new amphibian house: these, like many other projects, are planned under the standards of ecologically sustainable building and place the Papiliorama on a strong, future-oriented foundation. 11 million Swiss francs are needed to implement this all-round sensible project.
Three conference and seminar rooms can be combined
New restoration area
The hanging gardens of the tropics
Entrance to the main building
Enhancing the Jungle Trek
Extension of the Papiliorama
In the waters of the Seeland
What an explosion of life here! This thought accompanies me every step of the way when I visit the Papiliorama. Its name is based on the butterfly, which plays an important role here. Nowhere else in Switzerland can more than 60 species of this meaningful, fragile creature be experienced in a large pavilion – literally up close. Whoever enters the butterfly dome in Kerzers is immediately enchanted by their lightness and variety of colours.
Butterflies symbolize the fragility of nature in an impressive way. This is what the Papiliorama has focused on. It is home to one of Europe’s largest and liveliest presentations of biological diversity. This was the greatest concern of its founder, the renowned nature conservationist Maarten Bijleveld van Lexmond, when he founded the institution in Neuchâtel in 1988. His son Caspar Bijleveld has long been in charge of the institution, and since 2003 the Papiliorama has been located in Kerzers, where it can unfold even better and is particularly dedicated to the biodiversity of the region. Supported by a charitable foundation, the Papiliorama is known far beyond the Swiss border and enjoys international recognition as a zoological institution. Since its foundation, more than 6 million people have visited it – hundreds of thousands of children and young people. Again and again new attractions are built for the visitors: In the Nocturama, for example, visitors can watch nocturnal animals in the light of a full moon night, and the Jungle Trek and the outdoor gardens are a delight for young and old alike. I fully acknowledge the work of the Bijleveld family over the past 30 years. A private initiative has given rise to something magnificent, which has had a decisive impact on our Three-Lake region.
In recent years, as president of the ProPapiliorama association, together with my colleague, Dominique de Buman, president of the National Council 2018, I experienced the enthusiasm of the Papiliorama team to bring the visitors into closer contact to nature. To date, the Foundation has invested 13 million Swiss francs in the development of the institution; the institution has to do without public funds, but it cannot support larger investments on its own. In order to continue to be successful in the future, however, these have become unavoidable. On the one hand, the existing infrastructure needs to be modernized, while on the other hand the aim is to better communicate the richness of the ecosystems and their numerous inhabitants, especially to children and young people, and to ensure that the Papiliorama has a stable number of visitors in the long term and thus a broad economical basis of its own.
11 million Swiss francs are needed to implement this all-round sensible project. Personally, it is very important to me that the Papiliorama will continue to be successful in the future. So I ask you from the bottom of my heart for a sign of appreciation for this institution, which is unique in Switzerland.
Thank you very much for your active interest.
Investing today to survive tomorrow
From the very beginning, Papiliorama has been committed to communicating aspects of biodiversity – be it about the butterfly, the Nocturama or the Jungle Trek. Every new project that has been added over time has focused even more on providing information about biodiversity and raising awareness of its protection.
In order to be able to continue fulfilling its mission in the future, the Papiliorama Foundation has created the project «Papiliorama 2030». We have to invest today to survive tomorrow. In this process, particular attention will be paid to the local fauna and flora of the Seeland region, through the creation of living and educational natural exhibitions.
Thanks to Papiliorama, it is possible to discover very close up a number of fragile species that cannot be seen anywhere else in Switzerland. Tens of thousands of children and young people and their families have been here in the past and let themselves be inspired. I would like to ask you to help us to ensure that the Papiliorama will continue to be a place where we can all keep on discovering new things. In doing so you are making a valuable contribution towards the preservation of the environment, the diversity of species and environmental education.
A unique place
Kerzers without the Papiliorama has become unimaginable. A unique place has been created here to show the richness of local and global biological diversity. Today, the Papiliorama is faced with the challenge of having to invest in order to continue to be successful tomorrow. Together with the institution and on behalf of the commune of Kerzers, I thank you for your interest and ask for your solidarity.
Maarten Bijleveld van Lexmond
A life for nature conservation
Plants and animals have been my life since my earliest youth, they were my whole interest. During my time at the gymnasium I was chairman of the Biology Club, then international nature conservation came into focus, I studied biology and wrote my dissertation on birds of prey. At 24, I was the youngest co-founder of WWF Holland. After having moved to Switzerland with my family, the desire to initiate a big living exhibition became bigger and bigger. At that time, in 1986, there were hardly any butterfly houses. That’s how I started. Step by step, Papiliorama developed into an institution that has become an ambassador for tropical nature and biodiversity.
I’ve always been a big fan of animals. On tour and whenever I can, I visit zoos in the region and meet their directors. It is through some animal species we used to keep at home with my family that I came into contact with Papiliorama. Its founders are clearly pioneers for me, who have succeeded in developing their own style: Papiliorama is certainly small in size, but it is very special. Their commitment to nature conservation is really excellent. Thus, Papiliorama has developed a niche, and occupies it very well. It is really a little jewel, which deserves all our support.
Pioneering role from zoo to nature conservation centre
Papiliorama collaborates extremely actively with other zoos in Switzerland. From a zoo, it is gradually becoming a real centre for the protection of nature and diversity, and this makes it a real pioneer. Its commitment to nature conservation, whether in Switzerland or Belize, is truly exemplary. It would be very gratifying for me to learn that new support will allow it to continue its development.
Securing the future of Papiliorama, but also expanding it
Papiliorama has become an essential institution in our region, which I greatly appreciate. Its strength is to combine environmental education with high aesthetic quality. During a visit, all the senses are addressed, allowing us to approach all the facets of fauna and flora. Not only must we ensure that Papiliorama can persist, but also that it can continue to develop its unique approach.
Steps that have become inevitable
Several times I visited the Papiliorama, which is close to where I live – also with my grandchildren. And each time it was an experience to see how the focus here ist put on one of the biggest problems of our time: The preservation of biodiversity and our environment as a whole. I am particularly impressed by the butterflies, especially by the secrets of their colourful diversity. All my good thoughts accompany the Papiliorama on the important steps into the future that have become inevitable. I hope that this unique place will remain an eye-opener for as many young and old visitors as possible.
Are you interested in the Project 2030 or do you have financing ideas?