Soil and Biotechnology Division

The division is responsible for the protection of our soils, for the remediation of contaminated sites and for biotechnology and genetic engineering

The division:

  • deals with the protection of the soil against chemical, physical and biological damage such as erosion and compacting;
  • surveys the status of the soil through the "National Soil Monitoring Network" (NABO);
  • assists the cantons in the implementation of the Soil Pollution Ordinance;
  • harmonizes and assists the Cantons in enforcing the Contaminated Sites Ordinance (CSO);
  • enforces the Ordinance on the Charge for the Remediation of Polluted Sites in the area of subsidies and evaluates subsidy applications of the cantons;
  • is responsible for elaborating and implementing the provisions on the handling of pathogenic, alien and genetically modified organisms in the environment (Release Ordinance) and in contained systems (Containment Ordinance);
  • coordinates international activities in the area of biosafety with regard to the environment, in particular the Convention on Biological Diversity; it is also responsible for implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity in the area of genetic resources (Nagoya Protocol) and biosafety (Cartagena Protocol).

The division is responsible for the topics:


Bettina Hitzfeld

Bettina Hitzfeld
Position: head of division


Reto Tietz
Position: head of section Contaminated sites

Gudrun Schwilch

Gudrun Schwilch
Position: head of section Soil

Anne-Gabrielle Wust Saucy

Anne-Gabrielle Wust Saucy
Position: head of section Biotechnology

Last modification 08.01.2024

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Federal Office for the Environment FOEN
Soil and Biotechnology Division

Postal address:
CH-3003 Bern

Location of our offices:
Monbijoustrasse 40, 3003 Bern

Tel.: +41 58 462 93 49

E-mail Soil 
E-mail Contaminated sites
E-mail Biotechnology

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