The population’s perception of biodiversity
A fundamental change in behaviour and consumer habits is needed to conserve and promote biodiversity. A basic prerequisite for this is that people are aware that biodiversity is in a critical state both in Switzerland and worldwide.
In a representative survey carried out in 2016, half of respondents (61%) were of the view that the state of biodiversity in Switzerland is either good or very good; only 3% expressed the view that it is very bad. The trend in surveys carried out in 2010 and 2013 was even more pronounced: over 70% of respondents assessed the state of biodiversity as good or very good then.
The assessement of the state of global biodiversity is very different: 71% of respondents expressed the view that it is in a bad or very bad state.
This difference also emerges clearly when respondents were asked about the development of biodiversity over the last ten years. A good half of them (52%) were of the view that biodiversity in Switzerland has developed well or very well over this period. In relation to global biodiversity, however, 69% believed the development to be poor or very poor.
From the perspective of the FOEN the assessment of the state of biodiveristy in Switzerland does not reflect reality: it is considerably more critical than the population believes it to be although this tend has alleviated somewhat over the last ten years. For this reason, the state is assessed as negative and the trend as positive.
The data originate from the “Univox Umwelt” (“Univox Environment”) survey, which was carried out by the market and social research agency gfs-zürich in 2016. The survey was carried out by telephone and covered a range of topics relating to environmental pollution, environmental awareness and environment-relevant behaviour. The sample (N=1013) meets the criteria of representativity.
Responses to the question as to the state of biodiversity in both Switzerland and worldwide (1=very bad, 4=very good) were surveyed as well as answers to the question as to how biodiversity has developed in both Switzerland and worldwide (1=considerably worse, 4=considerably better).