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Endangered species Swiss president makes plea for biodiversity

lapwing in field

Three out of eight bird species are endangered in Switzerland, like this lapwing.

(Keystone)

Swiss president Simonetta Sommaruga has appealed for collective responsibility to preserve endangered species as she marked today’s International Day for Biodiversity with a visit to ecological agriculture projects.

“The diversity of species is essential for our lives and our economy,” said Sommaruga, who is also Switzerland’s environment minister. “Maintaining and developing it is therefore in the interest of everyone and is our responsibility.”

Biodiversity is under threat around the world. In Switzerland, about one third of plant and animal species are under threat, according to a press release from the environment ministryexternal link.

To reverse this trend, space and good quality areas need to be reserved for biodiversity, and we need to use natural resources sparingly, it says.

+ Switzerland uses up annual share of natural resources

Agriculture has a special responsibility, says the ministry, since it is closely linked to biodiversity and is dependent on it, but “intensive farming continues to destroy species”.

Sommaruga marked International Day for Biodiversityexternal link with a visit to sustainable agriculture projects in the northeastern canton of Thurgau. They are part of a pilot project in three cantons which her ministry says show “how beneficial agriculture that respects the environment can be both for farmers and for the flora and fauna”.

 

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