Maintained protective forest area
Protective forest maintenance, i.e. maintenance measures, helps ensure the protective effect of protective forests over the long term. Well-timed, consistent measures must be taken to avoid problems such as maintenance residues or deficient regeneration. Accordingly, the indicator serves as a direct control parameter for such measures. Protective forest maintenance means that protective structures are maintained. They consist of efforts by public authorities to maintain protective forests.
The legal requirements for care of protection forest are set out in the Forest Act. The cantons are responsible for managing protection forest. They receive federal subsidies to do so under a series of programme agreements, meeting part of the costs themselves, as is usual with joint tasks. The maintenance of protection forest is carried out by public or private forestry companies.
The programme agreements between the Confederation and the cantons generally run for a four-year period. The cantons decide how they want to implement the requirement over the four-year period, i.e. how much protection forest area they want to manage each year. This means that the actual area of forest managed annually varies within the agreement period. It is expected that an average of around 10,000 ha of protection forest will be managed annually (across all cantons). In 2021 around 9,592 ha of protection forest was managed.
Despite this basically positive development, the target has not yet been fully achieved.
The indicator cannot be compared internationally. In fact, this indicator puts Switzerland a step ahead of other countries, which use only the entire area of protective forests as an indicator.
As part of the new system of fiscal equalisation and division of tasks between the Confederation and cantons (NFE), protective forest measures are the object of programme agreements in the area of the environment. For the purpose of controlling the programme agreements, annual reports by the cantons are submitted to the FOEN. Data on the maintained protective forests are provided in these reports. The definitive value can only be recorded every four years since the cantonal results in conjunction with annual reporting also include a so-called rectification in the fifth year. Due to the use of annual values, a differential occurs in the actually maintained protective forest area throughout the programme agreement period.
|Targeted trend||Initial value||Final value||Deviation from theoretical path in%||Observed trend||Assessment|
|10000 n 2021||2012||2021||85.64%||Towards theoretical path||unsatisfactory|