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Biodiversity petition signed by more than 40,000 people

Fish in a net
Aquatic life forms are particularly affected in Switzerland © Keystone / Urs Flueeler

Representatives of 44 environmental protection organisations have urged parliamentarians to act and defend Switzerland’s biodiversity. On Monday, these organisations handed in a petition with more than 43,000 signatures in the Swiss capital, Bern.

On Tuesday, the Senate will meet and consider a revision of the laws regarding the protection of nature. The politicians will therefore have to decide whether to enter into a debate over the biodiversity crisis and whether they wish to develop a counter-project to fight back quickly and effectively against the ever-worsening biodiversity crisis, say the organisations.

“Switzerland is experiencing an acute biodiversity crisis, illustrated by some of the longest red lists of all industrialised countries. We must therefore intensify our efforts to preserve our source of life,” demanded Raffael Ayé, director of BirdLife Switzerland, quoted in a press conference. The term “red list” has become increasingly popular in recent years when referring to vulnerable and endangered species.

In Switzerland, approximately 35% of all plant and animal species either currently face the threat of extinction or have already disappeared. Aquatic life forms are particularly affected. “Up to two-thirds of all indigenous fish species are on the red list! We must protect our lakes, streams and rivers which are already in a critical state,” said David Bittner, administrator of the Swiss Fishing Federation.

The signatories include over 10,000 children, said the organisers of the petition, which was put forward exactly 31 years after the Swiss government signed the Convention on Biological Diversity in Rio de Janeiro.

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