At the World Water Forum in the South Korean city of Gyeongbuk, the participating countries have today adopted a declaration defining political priorities for the efficient use of water, a resource that is in short supply. Switzerland, which has also adopted the declaration and was heavily involved in drafting it, will be lobbying during the World Water Forum to get the responsible use of water resources included on the agenda for sustainable development after 2015 (post-2015 agenda).
Following days of negotiations, the delegations at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Reduction (WCDRR) in Sendai, Japan, have adopted a new international framework, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015–2030), which sets out the priorities for disaster risk reduction for the next 15 years. Manuel Bessler, the delegate of the Federal Council for Swiss Humanitarian Aid and head of the Swiss delegation in Sendai, welcomed the new framework, which will give new impetus to the world in the field of disaster prevention.
More and more people are threatened by disasters. To reduce the risk, precautionary measures must be taken early on. This message was underlined by Federal Councillor and head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) Didier Burkhalter in his speech at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in the Japanese city of Sendai.
The Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) will take place from 14 to 18 March in Sendai, Japan. Didier Burkhalter will lead the Swiss delegation during the ministerial segment of the conference, representing Switzerland's position. Following this, the Swiss delegation, including representatives of Swiss Humanitarian Aid, the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and the Federal Office for Civil Protection (FOCP), will continue negotiations on a new Framework for Action. On March 15 Federal Councillor Burkhalter will travel to Indonesia and subsequently to Sri Lanka for political discussions.
Switzerland aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% relative to 1990 levels by 2030. At least 30% of this reduction must be achieved within Switzerland itself. The rest may be attained through projects carried out abroad. These objectives were approved by the Federal Council in November 2014 as part of the definition of the negotiation mandate for the climate conference in Lima and are made public today. Switzerland will announce its commitment to reduce emissions by 50% to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The Federal Council announced today that it will nominate Professor Thomas Stocker from the University of Bern as a candidate for Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The term of office of the current IPCC Chair, Rajendra Pachauri, is drawing to a close. The members of the IPCC are due to elect his successor in October 2015.
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.