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Switzerland has reinforced its commitment to climate protection in developing countries as part of international cooperation. The Federal Council today decided to contribute USD 100 million to the initial capitalization of the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

Geo.admin.ch, the geoportal of the Swiss Confederation has again achieved a significant award as an eGovernment program. The map viewer map.geo.admin.ch is ranked 1st in the category «Swiss ICT Public Award» at the Swiss ICT Awards. Those awards have been issued by the swissICT, the most important representative of the ICT-workplace Siwtzerland and at the same time the biggest professional association of the industry.

Accessing maps in areas without network coverage is now possible with the map viewer of the federal geoportal, map.geo.admin.ch. A new function allows the download and local storage of a predefined map extent for offline usage. This new feature will meet the needs of individual users and provide opportunities to extend application possibilities.

Out of 23 applicants the Federal geoportal received the Open Source Software Award 2014. The prize was awarded by the Swiss Open Systems User Group / ch / open on October 8, 2014.

At the UN Climate Summit in New York, Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard today called for the conclusion of a globally binding climate protection agreement. Every country has a duty to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. This can be achieved by making greater use of renewable energies and energy efficiency without forfeiting prosperity and quality of life, explained the head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC).

Switzerland is increasing its contribution to the OSCE special monitoring mission in Ukraine by CHF 600,000 and by providing up to an additional ten observers. This was announced by the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, President of the Swiss Confederation Didier Burkhalter, in his opening speech at the OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum in Prague. The situation in Ukraine also took centre stage in the bilateral talks between President Burkhalter, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaorálek. The main theme of the Economic and Environmental Forum is the prevention of natural disasters, which is also one of the priorities of Switzerland's OSCE Chairmanship.

For five years, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Federal Office for the Environment and the Federal Office for Agriculture actively supported work on a new standard to ensure that water usage worldwide can be assessed according to uniform criteria. The new norm is intended to help both identify the impacts of water usage, and implement measures to use water more efficiently. The ISO standard for conducting a water footprint assessment was adopted by the organisation's member states in July, and presented to a broad audience today at World Water Week in Stockholm.

Information about the current natural hazard situation in Switzerland can now be obtained at a glance from an easy-to-read map on the new web portal www.natural-hazards.ch. The federal agencies responsible for natural hazards were commissioned by the Federal Council to develop the joint web portal, which marks a further advance in the improvement of natural hazard warnings in Switzerland.

Switzerland and China are particularly severely affected by the impacts of climate change on water management. For this reason, they are extending their cooperation in this area. Representatives of both countries have signed a corresponding agreement at a high-level meeting in Crans- Montana. Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard and the Chinese Vice Minister of Water Resources Hu Siyi highlighted the importance of this cooperation.

As a mountainous country, Switzerland has a long tradition of coping with natural hazards such as floods, avalanches and landslides. As part of the Economic and Environmental Forum of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and in collaboration with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and the Federal Office for Civil Protection (FOCP), the government of the Canton of Valais organised two field visits that offered around 120 OSCE representatives insights into Switzerland's integrated risk management and promoted cooperation among states.

Contact: mediendienst@bafu.admin.ch
Last updated on: 06.10.2014

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