Where nature protection is concerned, the expert assessment of an environment poses questions about its natural and cultural heritage and its potential, about how representative it may be, about biodiversity in all its facets and about its development or potential threats to its existence. Although the forest was the dominant habitat in the original natural European landscape, for a long time nature protection has devoted too little attention to it. There are diverse threats and deficiencies. However, in the Swiss forests positive developments are discernible. Thus nature protection is one of the basic functions of the forest, nature reserves are being created, the area of the forest is increasing, as are reserves of deadwood, and greater importance is being given to regeneration suited to the site. Nevertheless much remains to be done to really achieve the goal of biodiversity and sus-tainability. For this purpose segregative and integrative measures are required. Since diversity needs surface area, in the first place it must be possible to set aside as forest reserves a quarter of the total forest area, spread over the whole country and preferably as natural forest reserves, in order to start the process of a long-term restoration to the natural state. Here the conservation of natural self-regulating processes supersedes classical nature protection. With a series of further integrative measures, biodiversity must also be promoted over the whole remaining forest area and in the areas of transition to other habitats. An abundance of varied structures is the key to diversity of species. A more courageous attitude to wilderness and “untidiness” when dealing with the forest is to be recommended. Nature experiences in wilderness areas give the population the possibility of discovering diversity and natural processes and encourage respect for the innumerable other species and habitats.

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