Indicator biodiversity

Areas designated for biodiversity

Many habitats only arise in very small areas in Switzerland. Protected areas contribute to their conservation and are of central importance to biodiversity conservation in Switzerland. They allow species to continue to live in their original habitat, help species under pressure regain ground and enable ecosystems to fulfill their functions. In addition, they help safeguard landscape diversity in Switzerland.

Areas designated for the protection and promotion of biodiversity in Switzerland contribute to the achievement of Aichi Target 11 in the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which provides for the conservation of at least 17% of terrestrial areas.

Assessment of the state
poor poor
Assessment of the trend
unsatisfactory unsatisfactory
Target 2020 2020: 17 Other areas designated for biodiversity protection and promotion 2017: 2.61237229017803 Protected areas of international importance 2017: 1.01 Cantonal, regional and local protected areas 2017: 3.17507327116386 National protected areas 2017: 6.6 Other areas designated for biodiversity protection and promotion 2016: 2.48308622986557 Protected areas of international importance 2016: 1.01 Cantonal, regional and local protected areas 2016: 3.17507327116386 National protected areas 2016: 6.25 Other areas designated for biodiversity protection and promotion 2015: 2.37397602034637 Protected areas of international importance 2015: 1.01 Cantonal, regional and local protected areas 2015: 3.09435145936781 National protected areas 2015: 6.24 Other areas designated for biodiversity protection and promotion 2014: 2.26534903718057 Protected areas of international importance 2014: 1.01 Cantonal, regional and local protected areas 2014: 3.09435145936781 National protected areas 2014: 6.23 Other areas designated for biodiversity protection and promotion 2013: 2.05848673852489 Protected areas of international importance 2013: 1.01 Cantonal, regional and local protected areas 2013: 2.80034273949376 National protected areas 2013: 6.23 Other areas designated for biodiversity protection and promotion 2012: 1.99204541601066 Protected areas of international importance 2012: 1.01 Cantonal, regional and local protected areas 2012: 2.80034273949376 National protected areas 2012: 6.23
Percentage of the national territory protected for conserving biological diversity or particular species (excluding overlaps). State 31.12.2018.

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: FOEN
Total Swiss protected area* 2018: 6.6 Total Swiss protected area* 2017: 6.6 Total Swiss protected area* 2016: 6.25 Total Swiss protected area* 2015: 6.24 Total Swiss protected area* 2014: 6.23 Total Swiss protected area* 2013: 6.23 Total Swiss protected area* 2012: 6.23 Total Swiss protected area* 2011: 6.22 Total Swiss protected area* 2010: 6.22 Total Swiss protected area* 2009: 5.73 Total Swiss protected area* 2008: 5.67 Total Swiss protected area* 2007: 5.67 Total Swiss protected area* 2006: 5.63 Total Swiss protected area* 2005: 5.63 Total Swiss protected area* 2004: 5.63 Total Swiss protected area* 2003: 5.59 Total Swiss protected area* 2002: 5.52 Total Swiss protected area* 2001: 5.52 Total Swiss protected area* 2000: 5 Swiss game reserves 2018: 3.65 Swiss game reserves 2017: 3.65 Swiss game reserves 2016: 3.65 Swiss game reserves 2015: 3.65 Swiss game reserves 2014: 3.65 Swiss game reserves 2013: 3.65 Swiss game reserves 2012: 3.65 Swiss game reserves 2011: 3.65 Swiss game reserves 2010: 3.65 Swiss game reserves 2009: 3.66 Swiss game reserves 2008: 3.66 Swiss game reserves 2007: 3.66 Swiss game reserves 2006: 3.66 Swiss game reserves 2005: 3.66 Swiss game reserves 2004: 3.66 Swiss game reserves 2003: 3.62 Swiss game reserves 2002: 3.62 Swiss game reserves 2001: 3.62 Swiss game reserves 2000: 3.62 Aquatic and migratory bird reserves 2018: 0.55 Aquatic and migratory bird reserves 2017: 0.55 Aquatic and migratory bird reserves 2016: 0.55 Aquatic and migratory bird reserves 2015: 0.55 Aquatic and migratory bird reserves 2014: 0.54 Aquatic and migratory bird reserves 2013: 0.54 Aquatic and migratory bird reserves 2012: 0.54 Aquatic and migratory bird reserves 2011: 0.54 Aquatic and migratory bird reserves 2010: 0.54 Aquatic and migratory bird reserves 2009: 0.54 Aquatic and migratory bird reserves 2008: 0.46 Aquatic and migratory bird reserves 2007: 0.46 Aquatic and migratory bird reserves 2006: 0.46 Aquatic and migratory bird reserves 2005: 0.46 Aquatic and migratory bird reserves 2004: 0.46 Aquatic and migratory bird reserves 2003: 0.46 Aquatic and migratory bird reserves 2002: 0.46 Aquatic and migratory bird reserves 2001: 0.46 Aquatic and migratory bird reserves 2000: 0.28 Biotopes of national importance 2018: 2.17 Biotopes of national importance 2017: 2.17 Biotopes of national importance 2016: 1.78 Biotopes of national importance 2015: 1.78 Biotopes of national importance 2014: 1.78 Biotopes of national importance 2013: 1.78 Biotopes of national importance 2012: 1.78 Biotopes of national importance 2011: 1.78 Biotopes of national importance 2010: 1.78 Biotopes of national importance 2009: 1.26 Biotopes of national importance 2008: 1.26 Biotopes of national importance 2007: 1.26 Biotopes of national importance 2006: 1.21 Biotopes of national importance 2005: 1.21 Biotopes of national importance 2004: 1.21 Biotopes of national importance 2003: 1.21 Biotopes of national importance 2002: 1.14 Biotopes of national importance 2001: 1.14 Biotopes of national importance 2000: 0.74 National Park and Core Zone of Nature discovery parks 2018: 0.42 National Park and Core Zone of Nature discovery parks 2017: 0.42 National Park and Core Zone of Nature discovery parks 2016: 0.42 National Park and Core Zone of Nature discovery parks 2015: 0.41 National Park and Core Zone of Nature discovery parks 2014: 0.41 National Park and Core Zone of Nature discovery parks 2013: 0.41 National Park and Core Zone of Nature discovery parks 2012: 0.41 National Park and Core Zone of Nature discovery parks 2011: 0.41 National Park and Core Zone of Nature discovery parks 2010: 0.41 National Park and Core Zone of Nature discovery parks 2009: 0.41 National Park and Core Zone of Nature discovery parks 2008: 0.41 National Park and Core Zone of Nature discovery parks 2007: 0.41 National Park and Core Zone of Nature discovery parks 2006: 0.41 National Park and Core Zone of Nature discovery parks 2005: 0.41 National Park and Core Zone of Nature discovery parks 2004: 0.41 National Park and Core Zone of Nature discovery parks 2003: 0.41 National Park and Core Zone of Nature discovery parks 2002: 0.41 National Park and Core Zone of Nature discovery parks 2001: 0.41 National Park and Core Zone of Nature discovery parks 2000: 0.41
Swiss protected area (in % of the national territory). State 31.12.2018. *Percentage of the national territory excluding overlaps.

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: FOEN
Comment

Protected areas of national, regional, cantonal and local importance currently make up 9.8% of the national territory. Two-thirds of these areas are protected areas at the federal level (6.6%) and one-third at the cantonal level (3.2%). The various tasks that must be carried out (legal safeguard, ecological enhancement) have been accomplished at varying degrees depending on the location. Other areas designated for biodiversity make up 3.6% of the national territory.

Therefore, areas designated for biodiversity make up a total of approximately 13.4% of Switzerland’s national territory. The CBD target of 17% has not yet been achieved in Switzerland, which is why the state is assessed as negative.

Although the portion of Switzerland's national territory designated for biodiversity conservation grew considerably between 2007 and 2012, it was not enough to achieve the set goal. If this trend continues at the same pace in the coming years, the 17% target will not be achieved by 2020. Therefore, the trend is unsatisfactory.

International comparison

A comparable indicator is produced by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). According to that indicator, which considers only sites of national importance, Switzerland lags somewhat behind in terms of protected area management. The “OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Switzerland 2017" report indicates that protection goals are weaker than in other OECD countries, the protected areas are often not extensive enough, poorly connected within Switzerland and with the other European networks, and do not fully meet the safeguard objectives.

Method

The total protected area specified excludes any overlaps that exist between areas designated as qualifying for more than one category of protection. The protected areas are prioritised on the basis of their importance in terms of the contribution they make to the conservation of biodiversity.

There are different types of protected areas in Switzerland, and each type has its own specific protection rules. The following areas are taken into account by this indicator:

  • Protected areas of national importance that include the Swiss National Park, the central areas of periurban nature parks, biotopes of national importance, water fowl and migratory bird reserves of international and national importance, and federal hunting reserves.
  • Areas placed under protection by an act of public authority issued by cantons or communes, such as biotopes of regional and local importance, as well as cantonal forest reserves.
  • Areas of international importance, such as the Emerald Network sites (Bern Convention) and the sites governed by the Ramsar Convention.
  • Areas belonging to third parties that have been identified by private organizations as “protected areas.”
  • Biodiversity priority areas in agriculture (level II)

The buffer zones of biotopes of national and regional importance also contribute to biodiversity conservation.  

Basis for assessment of the trend
Targeted trend Initial value Final value Deviation from theoretical path in% Observed trend Assessment
17% in 2020 2012 2017 43.97% Towards theoretical path unsatisfactory
 
Last updated on: 06.09.2019

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