Soil: Information for specialists

Soil is a limited, ecologically and economically valuable non-renewable resource. Along with water and air, it is essential for life. The FOEN is working to conserve all these functions of soil so that Switzerland has enough fertile soil for all required uses in the long term.

Soil and its functions

Soil is a limited, ecologically and economically valuable non-renewable resource. Along with water and air, it is essential for life.

Physical, chemical and biological soil pressures

Soil pressures can be divided up into physical (mechanical), chemical (material) and biological pressures.

State of Swiss soil

Together with the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG), the FOEN operates the Swiss soil monitoring network (NABO). NABO is not only a reference network, but also an instrument for detecting problems early on and evaluating the effectiveness of soil protection efforts.

Impacts: Soil pressures lead to the loss of ecological functions

Economic and population growth not only leads to greater demand for settlements and transport infrastructure, but also to the loss of ecological soil functions.

Soil protection measures

Chemical and physical impacts on soil are either irreversible or can only be reversed at a very high cost. Therefore, the precautionary principle has absolute priority in soil protection.

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Last modification 13.04.2018

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