It is not without reason that the theme of environmental protection is of particular interest to Switzerland and the Swiss: The incomparable beauty of this alpine landscape is a precious jewel in the heart of Europe. It is essential to preserve the magic. Read more on this topic:
Switzerland offers a wealth of scenic variety over a small area: 220 km from north to south and 348 km from west to east. The characteristic landscapes of the Alps and the foothills take up 60 percent. A marked feature of the high Alps is the almost 1,800 glaciers. On account of its many rivers and more than 1,500 lakes, Switzerland is also called the "reservoir of Europe". The major European rivers (Rhine, Rhone, Ticino/Po, Inn/Danube) all have their source in Switzerland. However, the typically Swiss Alpine region is not the only area of offer scenic landscapes. The Jura and the Mittelland from Lake Geneva to Lake Constance are also oases of natural beauty to delight the senses.
Conservation has a long tradition in Switzerland: The first national park in the Alps was established almost 100 years ago: the Swiss National Park. With the economic boom, environmental problems such as air and water pollution began to arise in the 1950s. The state reacted by introducing strict legislation and so fostered innovative studies into environment-friendly technologies and processes. The Swiss developed special expertise in environmental technologies earlier than most other countries and exported them abroad.
Today, global climate change is a particularly explosive subject for the alpine state: Over the past 100 years the average temperature here has risen by 1 to 1.5 °C compared with a global increase of 0.6 °C. Along with this there has been a decline in biological diversity: The higher temperatures cause a rise in the timberline. The traditional habitats of animal species living at certain altitudes are at risk. Many Swiss institutes and initiatives are therefore dedicated to species conservation. The state monitors so-called biodiversity in accordance with the "UN Convention for Biological Diversity".