WWF warns of disappearing forests

Forests in some Swiss cantons could disappear completely if they are not managed better, an environmental organisation has warned.

This content was published on July 14, 2009 - 17:27

Forests in the cantons of Geneva, Jura, Ticino, Lucerne and Glarus are most at risk of being over exploited to meet global demands for wood in the coming years, according to a study released by the Swiss branch of WWF on Tuesday. Biodiversity could also be affected.

The best protected and managed forests are in cantons Basel and Aargau, according to the organisation.

The study compared the existence of forest reserves, the number of forests where ecological and social factors were guaranteed during exploitation, and where biodiversity was encouraged.

The organisation called on all cantons to meet international Forest Stewardship Council standards and said quicker action was needed to enforce protective measures.

Also on Tuesday, the Federal Environment Office released figures showing wood harvesting had gone down by 7.5 per cent in 2008. Internal demand for wood remained stable but European restrictions on production affected external exports.

swissinfo and agencies

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