14 2 5 3 62 Alpine Nature 2030 Creating ecological connectivity for generations to come affect them such as the implementation and nancing of environmental measures The federal government sets out the objectives of environmental protection in federal acts and ordinances and the cantons are obliged to enforce these federal laws Through supervi sion the national government can ensure that envi ronmental legislation is applied equally throughout Switzerland FOEN 2015 Several national laws and regulations such as the Fed eral Act on Natural and National Heritage Protection Bundesgesetz über den Natur und Heimatschutz the Federal Act on Spatial Planning and the Federal Ordinance on the Regional Promotion of Quality and Connectivity of Ecological Compensation Areas in Ag riculture to name only a few are relevant for the con servation of ecological connectivity They mirror those of other Alpine countries and are equivalent to similar EU regulations In the Swiss Landscape Concept LKV 1997 and in the 2003 mission statement of the national en vironment of ce Landscape 2020 Leitbild Land schaft 2020 the development of a functioning na tional ecological network is of central importance The designation of areas important for conservation and their connectivity axes provides an important tool for the implementation of a strategy for biodi versity and landscape diversity In spatial planning the national ecological network REN has to be taken into account according to the Spatial Planning Law The REN forms a national basis for implementation in the various cantons In some cantons ecological net works have found their way into some of the cantonal guiding spatial plans Kantonale Richtpläne In 2011 the Swiss Landscape Concept and Landscape Vision were updated with a new landscape strategy Land schaftsstrategie which illustrates the strategic goals of an integrated national landscape policy FOEN 2011 One of its principal objectives is securing and improv ing the landscape s ecosystem services Within the framework of the Swiss National Forest Programme 2004 the importance of connectivity for forests is highlighted SAEFL 2004 There are imple mentation regulations for the inclusion of and pay ments for connectivity based on the Forest Law The Forest Policy 2020 created in 2013 lays out the conser vation and improvement of forest biodiversity as one of its ve strategic goals FOEN 2013 In agriculture concrete standards are set for connectivity measures by ECO Quality Regulation The regulation also arranges for payments for connectivity measures The Swiss Biodiversity Strategy of 2012 contains a number of goals that refer speci cally or indirectly to ecosystem connectivity FOEN 2012 The Biodiversity Strategy also envisioned the preparation of an action plan to provide further details on how to achieve the goals The preparation of an interim progress report is scheduled for 2017 and an evaluation of whether the goals have been achieved will be made after 2020 In 2013 the Federal Of ce for the Environment FOEN presented rst results of the participatory planning process for preparation of the action plan and in 2014 it began elaborating an implementation schedule for the agreed measures A central role in the action plan is accorded to ecological connectivity measures In order to implement targets that it committed to under the Convention on Biological Diversity Switzerland has been increasing the number of its protected areas The country is also involved in the Emerald Network as an equivalent to the Natura 2000 network and in the Pan European Ecological Network PEEN As of December 2014 Switzerland listed 37 Emerald sites At a national level the Swiss National Park with an area of over 170 square kilome tres has the distinction of being the oldest Alpine Na tional Park gazetted in 1914 and an IUCN category 1 nature reserve with the highest protection level It is governed by National Park law Bundes gesetz über den Schweizerischen Nationalpark im Kanton Graubünden and National Park regulation National parkordnung Since 1979 the National Park has also been a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and work is ongoing to establish Biosfera Val Müstair Park Naziunal where the Swiss National Park will be a core zone FOEN 2012 The designation of a regional park was awarded in 2010 SNP not dated One of the goals of this Biosfera is to conserve the traditional natural and cultural landscape and to develop sus tainable economic development strategies In addition to the Swiss National Park there are other protected area categories including regional nature parks and nature discovery parks suburban nature parks all of which are considered parks of national importance The identity label Swiss Parks Schwei zer Pärke was created to provide visibility Apart from protected areas there are forest reserves which in 2012 covered about 4 8 per cent of the Swiss forest area or 58 000 hectares Wiedmer and Wisler 2014 This is still

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