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Swiss National Forest Inventory NFI

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What does the Swiss forest look like and how does it change over time? The Swiss National Forest Inventory (NFI) answers these questions.


The forest fulfills many tasks: It prevents avalanches, rockfall and mudslides. The forest provides wood to be used as fuel and material for construction. It serves as a place of leisure and recreation and last but not least is home to animals and plants. Therefore, the forest has to be protected, but also managed sustainably with the clear goal of fulfilling these functions. Exact knowledge of its condition is necessary, thus an inventory. Valuable information on how the forest develops in the long run is obtained from carrying out several inventories over a long period of time.

The Swiss National Forest Inventory (NFI) records the current state and the changes of the Swiss forest. The survey obtains data about trees, stands, sample plots and through enquiries at the local forest service.

The NFI carried out by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) in collaboration with the Forest Division at Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN ). The WSL is responsible for the planning, survey and analysis, as well as the scientific interpretation and publication of the NFI. The political interpretation and implementation is done by the Forest Division.

The first survey (NFI1) took place from 1983–85, the second survey followed in 1993–95, the third inventory was carried out 2004–2006 and the fourth in 2009–2017. Since 2018, the continuous survey of the fifth NFI (2018–2026) has been in progress.

All informations around the LFI can be found on