SDG 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
«[…] Deforestation and desertification – caused by human activities and climate change – pose major challenges to sustainable development […]»
Excerpt from Swiss target 15.1: By 2020, at least 17% of Switzerland’s terrestrial and inland freshwater areas are protected to ensure the sustainable conservation of its biodiversity […] and are integrated in the surrounding landscape. The state of endangered habitats is improved
Significance of the indicator
The indicator shows the proportion of protected areas across the entire Swiss territory. Biodiversity is an important basis for the essential benefits provided by ecosystems. It is therefore a fundamental resource and a natural asset to be conserved. An increase in this proportion is, therefore, a step towards sustainable development.
Help for interpretation
The indicator does not take into account the areas for landscape protection. Moreover, it considers only the areas protected at the federal level, which represent about two thirds of the total protected areas. The other areas dedicated to biodiversity but not recorded as protected areas of national, regional, cantonal or local importance are not taken into account.
At European level, the indicator can be compared with the “Nationally designated protected areas” indicator published by the European Environment Agency (EEA). At global level, it can be compared with statistics from the World Database on Protected Areas managed by the United Nations Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). The values shown by these different indicators reveal certain differences, due in particular to the fact that the areas considered are not exactly the same.
The indicator shows the proportion of the Swiss territory that is protected in order to conserve diversity or specific species. Data come from the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), which publishes them in different categories of protection. The total protected area specified excludes any overlaps that exist between areas designated as qualifying for more than one category of protection. The protected areas are prioritised on the basis of their importance in terms of the contribution they make to the conservation of biodiversity.
Swiss target 15.1: By 2020, at least 17% of Switzerland’s terrestrial and inland freshwater areas are protected to ensure the sustainable conservation of its biodiversity […] and are integrated in the surrounding landscape. The state of endangered habitats is improved.
International target 15.1: By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements.
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