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 percentage of maintained protective forest area per year has increased since 2012. Despite this basically positive development, the maintained protective forest area in 2016 (about 10,000 ha) was smaller than that of the previous year, which means that the goal of the forest policy has still not been achieved, as it sets the percentage of maintained protective forest area per year at 2% to 3%.
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 “true” 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.