COST Action E 51
The following “Country report Switzerland” has been prepared for the COST Action 51. The main objective of the Action is to develop knowledge that enables the integration of innovation and development policies for a more effective and sustainable development of the forest sector. Therefore we had a look at nine different sector policies in Switzerland, namely forest policy, forest-based industries policy, innovation policy, rural development policy, regional development policy, sustainable development policy and renewable energy policy. We analysed, if available, the current key documents for each sector in terms of their general content and the integration of innovation. The documents refer to the federal level and comprise Swiss national strategies and programmes as well as federal messages. As actual surveys show, the economic situation in Switzerland is very positive and it is ranged among the most competitive countries in the world. Despite this fact, the economic situation of Swiss forest enterprises is by the majority in deficit and the forest sector is mainly supported by subsidies. A positive development is the currently rising wood price. Also there is a still unused potential in timber industry as well as in alternative uses of the forest, like non-wood forest products and services. The latter offers opportunities for different kinds of product innovations. Another product innovation is found in the energy sector, where renewable energies are strongly promoted, with a new focus on energy wood, like pellets, wood chips, wood briquettes and biogas. This also includes new methods in supply like the energy wood contracting, where long term contracts between producers of energy wood and house owners are signed. But the most important innovations in the forest sector took place on an organisational and institutional level, with the reorganisation of the forest services. The Swiss National Forest Programme (Swiss NFP) therefore plays an important role as a procedure innovation by reformulating Swiss forest policy and legislation. For sure also projects linked to the forest-based industries (though no special policies or documents for this sector could have been identified), like “Netzwerkholz”, “KMU Zentrum Holz” or “Innovation Roadmap 2020”, play a crucial role for new innovations and the development of the forest sector. Besides this, the regional development policies have a high impact on the forest sector. That includes regional development programmes like Regio Plus or INTERREG as well as a political instrument like the NFA (Reorganisation of financial equalisation). Innovation policy, rural development policy and sustainable development policy are less connected to the forest sector and have an impact on it only in an indirect way. As for example innovation policies take care for the promotion of education and science in general, or the “Sustainable Development Strategy 2002” gives measures for sustainability in various fields. Such policies are also important as they strengthen basic concepts (sustainability) and needs (e.g. scientific inventions) from which the forest sector can profit. As the analysis shows there are a lot of interlinkages between forest and other sector policies. The impacts of these policies and optimal coordination between forest and other policies are research issues still to be continued. All these research topics contain fundamental institutional, organizational and financial questions to be tackled as crosscutting issues in forest policy research Show more
http://www.boku.ac.at/coste51/documents/country%20reports%20nov%2007/Countryreport_Switzerland_finalversion.pdfFull text via SFX
PublisherUniversity of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
Organisational unit03780 - Siegrist, Michael
03400 - Scholz, Roland W.
NotesSeries: Country report.
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