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Swiss National Soil Strategy

  • Published on February 1, 2022

The soil strategy adopted by the Swiss Federal Council aims to ensure that soil functions are not compromised and soils can continue to perform their services for society and the economy.

The Swiss National Soil Strategy pursues six overarching objectives:


11.  Reduce soil use
The objective is that, from 2050 onwards, net soil use in Switzerland will be zero. It will still be possible to build on soil, but if this results in functions being lost, they must be offset elsewhere by improving the soil at that site.


22. Manage soil use on the basis of an overall perspective
Soil functions are factored into planning, and the associated balancing of interests, so that soil use can be managed in the interests of sustainable development. The soil data required to do so is available.


33.  Protect soil from harmful impacts
Soil use does not result in any physical, chemical or biological impacts that might result in a lasting degradation of soil functions and thus soil fertility. Soil use takes account of its current condition and sensitivity, so that ecological soil functions and thus soil fertility are preserved.


44. Restore degraded soils
Where possible and reasonable, degraded soils are restored and improved so that they are once again able to fulfil the functions typical of their site, and that their fertility is reinstated.


55.  Improve awareness of the value and sensitivity of soil
Soil is seen as a valuable, sensitive and finite basis of existence, so that action surrounding sustainable soil management finds the necessary level of acceptance.


66.  Strengthen international commitment
Switzerland’s economic and social well-being depends not only on its own soil, but also on the preservation of soils abroad. Switzerland is thus an advocate for sustainable soil management at the global level.


The National Soil Strategy is intended to serve the competent federal and cantonal authorities as a guiding framework and decision-making aid, and to highlight ways in which the challenges that have been identified can be tackled. The primary tasks here will be to obtain the necessary soil data and to coordinate current policies and instruments more effectively

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