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Sustainable Use of Natural Resources

Spaziergänger an der Flaz bei Samedan

WSL has from the very start been concerned with the sustainable use of the natural resources wood, water, snow, landscape and soil - resources that provide manifold services. Computer simulations of forest development help foresters make the best economic use of Swiss forests, and, at the same time, take into account other functions that forests perform for people, animals and plants. 

In focus

Soil protection
Soil protection

Soils fulfill various functions. As a consequence of land cultivation and of the emission of harmful substances from various sources, the soil functions are endangered. In the research topic “soil protection” the main threats and their effects on the soil functions and hence on soil fertility are investigated.

Available languages: German  English  French  Italian 

Alpine snow and water resources
Alpine resources

The WSL and SLF are engaged in research to measure and pinpoint the country's snow and water resources, and to forecast future variances giving due consideration to the impact of climate change. A conference on this subject for practitioners and researchers took place at the end of November.

Available languages: German  English  French  Italian 

New publication

Angst, M., 2012:
Integration of Nature Protection in Swiss Forest Policy. INTEGRATE Country Report for Switzerland.

Country report within the framework of the research project INTEGRATE Integration of nature protection in forest management and its relation to other functions/services) of the Central European Office of the European Forest Institute (EFICENT), Freiburg i.B. [published online July 2012] Available from World Wide Web <>. Birmensdorf, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL . 77 S.