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Switzerland pursues an active and successful international environmental policy. The Federal Office for the Environment is the lead agency and centre of expertise responsible for Switzerland's international environmental policy.
Environmental problems transcend national boundaries or are global in scope. Protection and sustainable management of natural resources are fundamental requirements for sustainable development, the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and human welfare in general.
Switzerland's commitment to the protection and sustainable management of natural resources at the international level is mandated by the Constitution. This reflects the fact that, in many sectors, effective environmental protection can only be achieved through international cooperation.
Environmental policy involves resource policy, and thus also economic and social policy. Accordingly, international environmental policy promotes fair competition and - by harmonising standards and regulations - facilitates international trade. Successful environmental foreign policy enables sustainable development and helps to alleviate social and economic problems (including refugee movements) and to prevent violent conflicts over the use of natural resources.
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