Swiss look forward to Year of Forests

The Swiss Environment Office has launched a website as part of the United Nations International Year of Forests, focusing on the major role forests play.

This content was published on January 6, 2011 - 15:59 and agencies

The new site,, in German, French and Italian, describes different ways in which forests are important. It also has a calendar of events being held during the year.

Almost a third of Swiss territory is covered by forest. A third of this acts as protection against natural hazards for settlements, the transport network and power lines.

Forests are home to some 26,000 species of plants, animals and fungi, about half Switzerland’s flora and fauna.

They are a popular recreational area and also play an important role in reducing climate warming by binding CO2 and filtering rain water, helping to make it fit to drink.

“The law ensures that Swiss forests are exploited in a natural and sustainable way, so that future generations can also benefit from what it has to offer,” the website says.

Andreas Götz, deputy director of the Environment Office, said Switzerland could “present itself as an international model” since its laws have for many years encouraged sustainability while keeping the forests as natural as possible.

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