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The value of forests Who should pay to maintain Swiss woods?

Swiss forests have a lot to offer: they help to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air as well as being a place to relax and a source of clean drinking water. (SRF/swissinfo.chexternal link

But forest management is costing owners more than they can earn from their woodlands and the Swiss forest owners association is campaigning for compensation from the government.

The Kyoto climate agreement allows Switzerland and other industrial countries to include the CO2 effects of management of forests in their national greenhouse gas inventories.

The carbon credits generated help Switzerland to fulfil its Kyoto commitments.

This means that it can undertake fewer emission reduction activities in other sectors of the economy, purchase fewer carbon credits from outside the country, or even sell carbon credits on the international market.

If the CO2 sequestration effect achieved through forest management is translated into financial terms, the forestry sector can produce CO2 credits worth hundreds of millions of euros.

Only three private forestry companies in Switzerland have managed to directly claim CO2 carbon credits through a system established by the Kyoto protocol. 

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