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In the early 90s, the official responsible for natural hazards in the canton of Valais, Charly Wuilloud, and the director of the SLF, Walter Ammann, decided that the Institute and the canton should cast their lot together by way of an agreement on scientific collaboration.


The decision assumed tangible form in 1995, when a document was signed and the Valais outpost of the WSL/SLF was opened in Sion. The completion of the Vallée de la Sionne site for studying major avalanches at Arbaz, the only one of its kind in the world, marked the beginning of a fruitful collaboration.

However, the aim of this agreement was not solely to advance research into avalanches, but also to extend this work to include all natural hazards. Since then, several other full-scale experimental sites have been installed.

Finally, researchers from the WSL are today conducting several important projects on the effects of climate change on forests.