Through its commitment to forest issues at international level, the Swiss Confederation aims to identify solutions for global forest problems, on the one hand, and to protect its own forest-related national interests, on the other. The general public's awareness of topics like the destruction of the rain forest and the trade in tropical timber is focused mainly on global problems, the resolution of which is a matter of particular concern for the Swiss population. The outcome of the associated international environmental negotiations also influences forest-relevant policies at national level as international agreements also have to be implemented at home. This essay identifies such correlations and provides information about international processes and the approaches adopted by the federal authorities to improve conditions for the protection and sustainable management of all forests. The challenges facing forests at national, European and international levels are also examined.

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