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Leuenberger says West is spoiling biodiversity

Swiss Environment Minister Moritz Leuenberger has strongly criticised the industrialised countries, including Switzerland, at the biodiversity conference in Japan.

In his last speech before he steps down from office, Leuenberger did not mince his words at the international meeting in Nagoya.

“In Switzerland, I was advised not to mention our shortcomings to the outside world. I find this attitude wrong.”

He called on the Swiss to look at themselves “objectively” in the mirror. “What we see in this mirror is not particularly encouraging.”

Leuenberger said the Swiss had a great love of nature and were also increasingly aware of the value of nature.

“However, we are spoiling this richness,” he commented, noting in particular that the Swiss parliament had recently softened its stance on the protection of wolves and had refused to ratify the nine protocols of the Alpine Convention.

Outgoing Economics Minister Doris Leuthard will on Sunday take over Leuenberger’s ministry which deals with the environment, transport, energy and communication.

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SWI swissinfo.ch - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR