Indicator forest and wood


Deforestation is defined as the permanent or temporary change of use of forest land. Deforestation is fundamentally prohibited in Switzerland in the interest of forest conservation; however, exceptional permits may be granted if there are important reasons that outweigh this interest. Examples include road and railway construction, landfills and mining projects. When a deforestation permit is granted, the deforested area must in principle be compensated with replacement afforestation.

Assessment of the state
good good
Assessment of the trend
positive positive
Authorised deforested area 2018: 161 Authorised deforested area 2017: 147 Authorised deforested area 2016: 194 Authorised deforested area 2015: 169 Authorised deforested area 2014: 133 Authorised deforested area 2013: 207 Authorised deforested area 2012: 164 Authorised deforested area 2011: 145 Authorised deforested area 2010: 154 Authorised deforested area 2009: 137 Authorised deforested area 2008: 117 Authorised deforested area 2007: 167 Authorised deforested area 2006: 164 Authorised deforested area 2005: 110 Authorised deforested area 2004: 96 Authorised deforested area 2003: 112 Authorised deforested area 2002: 172 Authorised deforested area 2001: 122 Authorised deforested area 2000: 100 Authorised deforested area 1999: 182 Authorised deforested area 1998: 164 Authorised deforested area 1997: 155 Authorised deforested area 1996: 198

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: Federal Office for the Environment: FOPOL deforestation database
Verschiedenes: 6% Gewässerkorrektionen : 19% Leitungen und Energie: 13% Hochbau: 7% Sport / Tourismus: 5% Entsorgung: 14% Rohstoffe: 19% Verkehr : 17%
Bewilligte Rodungen in der Schweiz: Durchschnitt nach Flächen 2008–2017

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: Bundesamt für Umwelt Datenbank FOPOL

In 2017, the Confederation and cantons authorised a total of 409 deforestation projects comprising an area of 147 ha of forest. This represented an decrease of 47 ha compared to the previous year and 10 ha belowthe 10-year mean. This deviation is in keeping with the annual fluctuations. Thus, the legislative requirement of conserving the forest is fulfilled.

Of the total deforested area in 2017, 16% was authorised to facilitate transport infrastructure, 18% for raw materials extraction, 7% for disposal facilities, 4% for sports facilities, 8% for buildings, 8% for power lines and energy requirements, 18% for watercourse correction projects and 21% for miscellaneous purposes. Compared to the average for the last 10 years, the area deforested to make way for power lines and energy infrastructure has increased, whereas it has decreased for raw materials extraction and disposal facilities.

The goal is to conserve the forest in its area and spatial distribution and prevent it from shrinking within its area. Toward that end, further development of the forest area is harmonised with landscape diversity (including connectivity) and the desired spatial development (including agricultural priority areas). The average value for deforestations in the 2008-2017 period (160 ha/J) serves as the basis for assessing the consistent trend.

International comparison

The indicator cannot be compared internationally. Each state has its own specific administrative procedures when it comes to deforestation processes.


The deforestation permits issued by the cantons (for cantonal processes) and federal authorities (for federal processes) are recorded and evaluated in the "FOPOL" database.

Last updated on: 04.02.2020

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