English is not an official language of the Swiss Confederation. This translation is provided for information purposes only and has no legal force.
Ordinance on Forest
(Forest Ordinance, ForO)
of 30 November 1992 (Status as of 1 January 2020)
(Art. 2 para. 4 ForA)
1 The cantons shall define the parameters according to which a wooded area is defined as forest, within the following ranges:
- area, including an appropriate forest margin: 200–800 m2;
- width, including an appropriate forest margin: 10–12 m;
- age of stands in newly colonised areas: 10–20 years.
2 If the stand fulfils particularly important social or protective functions, it is defined as forest, irrespective of its area, its width or its age.
(Art. 2 para. 2 ForA)
Wooded pastures are areas consisting of a mosaic of wooded areas and open pastures and which fulfil both livestock husbandry and forestry purposes.
(Art. 2 para. 3 ForA)
1 Check dams are structures that hinder the natural flow of water and create a backwater.
2 The immediate foreground of a check dam is the terrain bordering the installation on the airside. It normally covers a 10-metre-wide strip.
(Art. 4 and 12 ForA)
The following are not defined as deforestation:
- the use of forest land for forestry buildings and installations and for small structures and installations not used for forestry purposes;
- the allocation of forest to a protection zone in accordance with Article 17 of the Spatial Planning Act of 22 June 19791 (SPA), if the protection objective is compatible with forest conservation.
1 In the case of works for which the Confederation is the competent authority, the deforestation application must be submitted to the lead federal authority, and in the case of works for which the canton is the competent authority, the deforestation application must be submitted to the competent authority under cantonal law.
2 The authority shall publish the application and provide access to the files for consultation.
1 Amended by No II 17 of the O of 2 Feb. 2000 to the FA on the Coordination and Simplification of Decision-Making Procedures of 18 June 1999, in force since 1 March 2000 (AS 2000 703).
2 The designation of the administrative entity was amended according to Art. 16 para. 3 of the Publication Ordinance of 17 Nov. 2004 (AS 2004 4937).
3 Name in accordance with No I 5 of the O of 28 Jan. 2015 on the Amendment of Ordinance Law on the Environment, in particular with regard to the programme agreements for the Programme Period 2016–2019, in force since 1 Jan. 2016 (AS 2015 427). This change has been made throughout the text.
1 If the Confederation is responsible for the deforestation permit, the cooperation between the FOEN and the cantons is subject to Article 49 paragraph 2 ForA. The cantons shall support the federal authorities in the clarification of the facts.
2 Included in the calculation of the deforestation area, based on which the obligation to hear the FOEN (Art. 6 para. 2 ForA) is determined, are all deforestation areas that:
- are included in the deforestation application;
- were deforested for the same works in the 15 years previous to the submission of the deforestation application, or for which deforestation is still allowed.
1 The deforestation decision covers the following:
- the areas in which deforestation is authorised or refused and the affected plots with specification of the coordinates;
- the nature and scope of the compensatory measures and the affected plots with specification of the coordinates;
- the deadlines for the use of the deforestation permit and for the fulfilment of the obligations associated with the deforestation, in particular those involving compensatory measures;
- the unresolved objections;
- any further conditions and requirements.
(Art. 7 para. 1 ForA) 1
1 Compensation in kind is made by creating an area of forest of the same size in a location offering qualitatively similar conditions to the deforested area.
2 Compensation in kind includes the acquisition of the land, the planting and all of the measures necessary for the long-term safeguarding of the compensatory area.
3 Areas in which forest is expanding and voluntarily afforested areas which have not yet become forest may be recognised as compensation in kind.
(Art. 7 para. 2 let. a ForA)
The cantons shall designate areas with increasing forest area after consulting the FOEN. Their boundaries shall be based on federal and cantonal surveys, in principle following topographical features and taking account of existing settlements and uses.
(Art. 7 para. 2 let. b ForA)1
2 Areas of particular ecological value are, in particular:
- biotopes in accordance with Article 18 paragraph 1bis of the Federal Act of 1 July 19663 on the Protection of Nature and Cultural Heritage;
- areas designated as nature protection areas in accordance with Article 17 SPA4.
3 Areas of particular landscape value are, in particular:
- objects of national importance in accordance with the Ordinance of 10 August 19775 on the Federal Inventory of Landscapes and Natural Monuments of National Importance;
- mire landscapes of outstanding beauty and national importance in accordance with Article 24sexies paragraph 5 of the Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation6;
- areas designated as landscape protection zones in accordance with Article 17 SPA.
1 Amended by No I of the O of 14 June 2013, in force since 1 July 2013 (AS 2013 1983).
2 Amended by No I of the O of 14 June 2013, in force since 1 July 2013 (AS 2013 1983).
3 SR 451
4 SR 700
5 [AS 1977 1962, 1983 1942, 1996 3264, 1998 788, 2010 1593 Annex No 2. AS 2017 2815 Art. 11]. See now: the O of 29 Mrch 2017 (SR 451.11).
6 [BS 1 3; AS 1988 352]. The specified provision now corresponds to Art. 78 para. 5 of the Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation of 18 April 1999 (SR 101).
(Art. 7 para. 3 let. b ForA)
Compensation for deforestation may be dispensed with in the case of projects to guarantee flood protection and the rehabilitation of waters in particular in the case of areas that can no longer be stocked as forest.
- compensation in kind or measures for the benefit of nature and landscape conservation;
- retrospective compensation for deforestation in the event of a change of use in accordance with Article 7 paragraph 4 ForA.2
2 The cantons shall monitor all compensatory measures and notify the FOEN of the final approval of the works.
(Art. 10 para. 1 ForA)1
1 The ruling on declaration as forest records whether a stocked or unstocked area is a forest or not and specifies its coordinates.
2 It specifies on a map the location and size of the forest and the location of the affected plots.
(Art. 10 para. 2 let. b ForA)
Areas where the canton wants to prevent an increase in forest must be specified in the cantonal structure plan.
(Art. 15 para ForA)
1 Forest roads may be accessed by motorised vehicular traffic for the following purposes:
- for rescue and recovery purposes;
- for police controls;
- for military exercises;
- for the implementation of measures for the protection against natural events;
- for the maintenance of the network lines of the providers of telecommunications services.
2 The rest of the forest may only be accessed by motorised vehicular traffic if such access is unavoidable for the fulfilment of a purpose in accordance with paragraph 1.
3 Events involving vehicular motorised traffic are prohibited on forest roads and in the rest of the forest.
1 Amended by No II 61 of the O of 1 Dec. 1997, in force since 1 Jan. 1998 (AS 1997 2779).
(Art. 2 para. 2 let. b and 11 para. 1 ForA)
1 Forest structures and installations, such as forest maintenance depots, covered wood fuel stores and forest roads may be constructed or altered with official permission in accordance with Article 22 SPA2.
2 A requirement for permission is that:
- the structures and installations facilitate regional forest management;
- a need is proven for the structures and installations, their location is suitable and their size is adapted to regional conditions; and
- there is no overriding public interest in refusing permission.
3 Other requirements under federal or cantonal law also apply.
(Art. 11 para. 1 and 16 ForA)1
1 The granting of permission for the construction of forestry buildings or installations in the forest in accordance with Article 22 SPA2 is subject to a hearing of the competent cantonal forestry authority.
2 Exceptional permission for the construction of small structures and installations in the forest that are not used for forestry purposes in accordance with Article 24 SPA may only be granted in agreement with the competent cantonal forestry authority.
1 The cantons shall compile the basic documentation required for protection. They shall:
- keep inventories of buildings and installations that that are of relevance in providing protection against natural events (protective structure register);
- document events causing damage (event register) and analyse, if required, larger events causing damage;
- prepare hazard maps and emergency plans for potential events, and update these regularly.1
2 When compiling this basic documentation, they shall take into account the work carried out by specialist federal agencies and their technical guidelines.
3 The cantons shall take account of this documentation in all their activities with a spatial impact, in particular structural and land-use planning.
1 Amended by No I 5 of the O of 28 Jan. 2015 on the Amendment of Ordinance Law on the Environment, in particular with regard to the programme agreements for the Programme Period 2016–2019, in force since 1 Jan. 2016 (AS 2015 427).
2 Inserted by No I 21 of the O of 7 Nov. 2007 on the New System of Financial Equalisation and Division of Tasks between the Confederation and the Cantons (AS 2007 5823). Amended by Annex 2 No 13 of the O of 21 May 2008 on Geoinformation, in force since 1 July 2008 (AS 2008 2809).
1 Where necessary for the protection of human life and significant material assets, the cantons shall set up early warning services. They shall ensure the development and operation of the related monitoring stations and information systems.
2 When setting up and operating the early warning services, they shall take into account the work carried out by specialist federal agencies and their technical guidelines.
(Art. 19 ForA)
1 The securing of hazard areas includes:
- silvicultural measures;
- structural measures for the prevention of damage due to avalanches, as well as, in exceptional cases, the erection of installations for preventive avalanche release;
- accompanying measures in torrents channels which are linked to forest conservation (torrent control works in forests);
- landslide and gully control structures, the corresponding drainage works and erosion protection;
- rockfall and rock avalanche control structures, retention structures, as well as, in exceptional cases, the preventive release of material at risk of falling;
- the removal to a safe location of buildings and installations at risk.
2 The works shall if possible be combined with biological engineering and silvicultural measures.
3 The cantons shall ensure that planning is integrated; in particular, the planning shall balance the interests of forest management, nature and landscape protection, hydraulic engineering, agriculture and spatial planning.
(Art. 20 para. 2 ForA)
1 The cantons shall issue regulations for the planning of forest management. These shall define, in particular:
- the types of plans and their content;
- the instances responsible for planning;
- the planning goals;
- how the planning data are acquired and used;
- the planning and control procedures;
- the regular reviewing of the plans.
2 The forestry planning documents must describe, at least, the location conditions as well as the forest functions and their importance.
3 In the case of interoperational planning, the cantons shall ensure that the population:
- is informed of the goals and progress of the planning;
- may be involved in a suitable manner;
- may inspect it.
(Art. 20 ForA)
1 All maintenance interventions that contribute to the conservation or restoration of the stability and the quality of a stand are classified as silvicultural measures.
2 Measures carried out as part of young forest maintenance are:
- young growth maintenance, thicket maintenance and stem thinning in order to create resistant and adaptable stands suitable to the location;
- specific measures to maintain regrowth in selection forests, in other multi-layered forests, in coppices with standards and coppice forests as well as in multi-layered forest margins;
- protective measures against damage caused by game;
- the creation of paths in areas of difficult access.
3 Thinning and regeneration measures are:
- slash removal and the creation of new stands and the necessary accompanying measures;
- wood harvesting and transport.
4 Minimum maintenance measures for conserving the protective function of the forest are maintenance interventions that are restricted to ensuring the long-term stability of the stand; felled wood is used locally or left on site, as long as it does not pose a risk.
(Art. 22 ForA)
1 Clearcutting is the complete or almost complete removal of a stand, which gives rise to ecological conditions similar to those on open lands in the cutting area or causes serious detrimental effects to it or to the nearby stands.
2 Clearcutting does not arise, if the old stand is cleared following sufficient and secured regeneration.
(Art. 24 ForA)
1 The cantons shall guarantee the supply of appropriate suitable forest reproductive material.
2 The competent cantonal forest authority shall select the forests stands, from which forest reproductive material may be obtained. It shall notify the seed stands to the FOEN.
3 It shall control the commercial and industrial production of seeds and plant parts and issues certificates of origin.
4 Only forest reproductive material of certified origin may be used for forestry purposes.
5 The FOEN shall advise the cantons about:
- the production, supply and use of forest reproductive material;
- the safeguarding of genetic diversity.
6 It keeps a register of the seed stands and a register of the genetic reserves.
(Art. 24 ForA)
1 The import of forest reproductive material requires the authorisation of the FOEN.
2 The authorisation is granted if:
- the forest reproductive material is appropriate for cultivation and its origin is confirmed by an official certificate; or
- the importer declares in writing that the reproductive material will be used exclusively outside of the forest.
2bis The authorisation to import genetically modified forest reproductive material is regulated by the Release Ordinance of 10 September 20081; the terms of reference of the present Ordinance are also applicable.2
1 SR 814.911
2 Inserted by Art. 51 No 3 of the Plant Protection Ordinance of 28 Feb. 2001 (AS 2001 1191). Amended by Annex 5 No 16 of the Release Ordinance of 10 Sept. 2008, in force since 1 Oct. 2008 (AS 2008 4377).
3 The designation of the administrative entity was amended according to Art. 16 para. 3 of the Publications Ordinance of 17 Nov. 2004 (AS 2004 4937).
4 Name in accordance with No I 5 of the O of 28 Jan. 2015 on the Amendment of Ordinance Law on the Environment, in particular with regard to the programme agreements for the Programme Period 2016–2019, in force since 1 Jan. 2016 (AS 2015 427). This change has been made throughout the text.
(Art. 24 ForA)
1 Public and private seed extractories, tree nurseries, forest gardens and retailers must keep a record of the origin, processing, breeding and supply of forest reproductive material as well an inventory of such material.
2 They shall inform the purchasers of forest reproductive material of its classification and origin in their quotations, on their goods and in their invoices.
3 The FOEN shall control their business management. It may require the assistance of the cantons for this.
1 DETEC shall issue an ordinance on the implementation of the provisions of this section.
2 It may allow, for scientific purposes, the import and use of forest reproductive material, the suitability and origin of which are not proven.
The exceptional use of environmentally hazardous substances in the forest is governed by the Ordinance on Chemical Risk Reduction of 18 May 20052.
(Art. 26 ForA)
1 Forest damage is damage that poses a considerable threat to the function of the forest and that is caused by:
- natural events such as storms, forest fires or drought;
- harmful organisms such as certain viruses, bacteria, larvae, insects, fungi or plants.
(Art. 27 para. 1 ForA)
The cantons shall take measures to prevent and remediate forest damage, in particular:
- technical and silvicultural measures to prevent and combat fire;
- measures to reduce the physical load applied to the soil;
- measures to monitor and combat harmful organisms with the aim of eradicating or curbing them or restricting the damage they cause.
(Art. 26 para. 3 and 27a para. 2 ForA)
1 The FOEN shall establish the principles for the prevention and remediation of forest damage. It shall coordinate the cross-cantonal measures and where necessary shall itself establish such measures.
2 The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) has the following tasks:
- it organises, together with the cantonal forestry services, the collection of data of relevance to forest protection;
- it provides information about the occurrence of harmful organisms and other factors that may damage the forest;
- it advises the cantonal forestry services in matters of forest protection.
(Art. 27 para. 2 ForA)
1 Where game damage arises despite the regulation of game populations, a plan shall be developed for its prevention.
3 The plan is a component of the forestry planning.
(Art. 29 para. 1 and 2 ForA)
1 The FOEN shall ensure, together with the universities, the cantons and other organisations, institutions, and professional associations concerned, that the knowledge and skills acquired during education and training are maintained, and that forestry engineers are introduced to new theoretical and practical advances.
2 The cantons shall offer sufficient places for practical continuing education and training and coordinate this offer with each other. Practical continuing education and training shall in particular:
- focus on forest planning, forest management and forest conservation in the context of all forest functions;
- aim to improve management skills and administrative knowledge;
- be attested by a certificate detailing the acquired skills and knowledge.
(Art. 29 para. 4 and 51 para. 2 ForA)
1 The cantons shall provide:
- the higher vocational training of forest wardens and operate the professional colleges required for this purpose;
- together with the responsible organisations, the working environment for the continuing professional education and training of forestry personnel.
2 In accordance with Articles 19 paragraph 1, 28 paragraph 2 and 29 paragraph 3 of the Vocational and Professional Education and Training Act of 13 December 20022 (VPETA), the enactment or approval of regulations in the field of forestry education and training shall be subject to a hearing of the FOEN.
(Art. 21a and 30 ForA)
1 The cantons shall work with agricultural and forestry organisations to organise courses to improve worker safety during wood harvesting for workers with no forestry training.
2 Federally recognised courses must provide basic skills in worker safety, in particular the correct and safe felling of trees, removal of branches, and the scoring and dragging of trees and tree trunks. Such courses must run for at least 10 days in total.
(Art. 29 para. 1 ForA)
2 The FOEN shall operate a central coordination and documentation agency for measures concerning forestry education and training.
(Art. 33 and 34 ForA)
1 The FOEN is responsible for the collection of survey data on the forest.
2 In cooperation with the WSL, it surveys:
- by means of the National Forest Inventory, the basic data relating to the locations, functions and condition of the forest;
- the long-term development processes in natural forest reserves.
3 As part of its basic remit, the WSL shall conduct long-term research programmes to survey the pressure on the forest ecosystem.
4 The FOEN shall inform the authorities and the general public about these surveys.
(Art. 34a ForA)
1 The marketing and use of sustainably produced timber shall be promoted only in pre-competitive circumstances not relating to one particular company.
2 In particular, innovative research and development projects that promote sustainable forest management by improving data, opportunities for marketing and use, resource efficiency or public relations may be promoted.
3 Results and findings relating to the supported activities shall be made available to the FOEN on request.
(Art. 34b ForA)
1 In the planning, construction and operation of federal buildings and installations the use of timber and timber products shall be promoted.
2 The sustainability of timber and timber products shall be assessed in accordance with existing guidelines and recommendations such as those issued by the Coordination Coordination Group for Construction and Property Services.
(Art. 35 ForA)
(Art. 35 para. 2 ForA)
Financial assistance and compensatory payments are only provided by the Confederation if:
- the measures comply with the forestry planning;
- the measures are necessary and appropriate;
- the measures satisfy the applicable technical, economic and ecological requirements;
- the other requirements of federal law are fulfilled;
- coordination with the public interests of other sectors is ensured;
- further maintenance is guaranteed.
1 For compensatory payments under Articles 39 paragraph 1 and 2 and 40 paragraph 1 letter c, costs are attributable only if they are in fact incurred and are directly required for the proper fulfilment of the task for which a contribution is due. They include the costs of planning, acquisition of land and implementation, as well as marking costs.
- 2 Not attributable are in particular charges and taxes and costs that can be passed on to third parties who are significant beneficiaries or originators of damage.
(Art. 36 ForA)
1 Compensatory payments for the measures and the compilation of basic documentation on natural events are normally allocated on a global basis. The level of the global compensatory payments is negotiated between the FOEN and the canton concerned and is based on:
- the hazard and damage potential;
- the scope and the quality of the measures and of their planning.
2 Compensatory payments may be awarded on a case by case basis, if the measures:
- have a supracantonal dimension;
- concern protected areas or objects listed in national inventories;
- require particularly complex or expert assessment due to the possible alternatives or for other reasons; or
- were unforeseeable.
3 The contribution to the costs of the measures in accordance with paragraph 2 amounts to 35 to 45 per cent of the cost of the measures and is based on:
- the hazard and damage potential;
- the degree of implementation of a comprehensive risk assessment;
- the scope and the quality of the measures and of their planning.
4 If a canton incurs considerable expenses due to exceptional protective measures, in particular following damage caused by bad weather, the contribution under paragraph 3 may be increased exceptionally to a maximum of 65 per cent of the cost of the measures.
5 No compensatory payments are awarded for:
- measures required for the protection of buildings and installations which at the time of construction:
- were in already designated hazard zones or known hazard areas, and
- are not necessarily attached to that location;
- measures for the protection of tourist buildings and installations, such as cableways, ski lifts, ski runs or hiking trails, that are situated outside of the inhabited area.
1 Amended by No I 3 of the O of 2 Feb. 2011 (Development of Programme Agreements in the Environment Sector), in force since 1 March 2011 (AS 2011 649).
2 Amended by No 1 5 of the O of 28 Jan. 2015 on the Amendment of Ordinance Law on the Environment, in particular with regard to the programme agreements for the Programme Period 2016–2019, in force since 1 Jan. 2016 (AS 2015 427).
(Art. 37 ForA)
1 The level of the global compensatory payments awarded for measures required to enable the protective forest to fulfil its protective function is based on:
- hazard and damage potential;
- the number of hectares of the protective forest to be maintained;
- the scope and the planning of the infrastructure required for the maintenance of the protective forest;
- the quality of the services provided.
2 The amount is negotiated between the FOEN and the canton concerned.
3 The contribution awarded by ruling to the costs of projects resulting from exceptional natural events shall not exceed 40 per cent of the costs and shall be in accordance with paragraph 1 letters a, c and d.1
(Art. 37a ForA)
1 The amount of global financial assistance for measures to prevent and mitigate forest damage outside the protective forest is determined by:
- the degree of threat to forest functions;
- the number of hectares over which measures are taken;
- the quality of the services.
2 The FOEN and the cantons concerned shall negotiate the amount.
3 Financial assistance may be awarded in individual cases in which the measures were unforeseeable and particularly costly. The amount shall not exceed 40 per cent of the costs and is determined in accordance with paragraph 1 letters a and c.
(Art. 37b ForA)
1 Compensation may be paid in cases of hardship if individuals are particularly badly effected and cannot be expected to meet the cost of the damage themselves.
2 Applications for compensation are to be submitted, with reasons given, once the damage has been ascertained but no later than one year after the measures have been put in place by the competent cantonal authorities.
3 No compensation is paid for loss of yield or immaterial damage.
4 The Confederation shall reimburse the cantons between 35 and 50 per cent of the cost of compensation payments in accordance with the provision on global financial assistance in Article 40a
(Art. 38 para. 1 ForA)1
1 The level of global financial assistance for measures that contribute to the maintenance and improvement of the biological diversity of the forest is based on:
- the number of hectares of forest reserves that are to be designated and maintained;
- b.2 ...
- the number of hectares of habitats to be maintained, in particular the forest margins, which provide habitat connectivity;
- the extent and quality of the measures for the promotion of animal and plant species, the conservation of which is a matter of priority for biological diversity;
- the number of hectares outside forest reserves to be designated as areas with a high proportion of old wood and deadwood or with sufficient trees demonstrating characteristics that are of particular value to biological diversity (biotope tree);
- the number of hectares of the forms of forest cultivation to be maintained, such as wooded pastures, coppices with standards and coppice forests and chestnut or walnut groves;
- the quality of the services provided.
2 The amount is negotiated between the FOEN and the canton concerned.
3 The financial assistance may only be allocated, if the protection of the ecological as listed under paragraph 1 letters a and c–f is guaranteed contractually or in any other suitable way.
1 Amended by No 1 5 of the O of 17 Aug. 2016, with effect from 1 Jan. 2017 (AS 2016 3215).
2 Repealed by No 1 5 of the O of 17 Aug. 2016, with effect from 1 Jan. 2017 (AS 2016 3215).
3 Amended by No I of the O of 17 Aug. 2016, in force since 1 Jan. 2017 (AS 2016 3215).
4 Repealed by No 1 5 of the O of 17 Aug. 2016, with effect from 1 Jan. 2017 (AS 2016 3215).
(Art. 38a ForA)
1 The level of global financial assistance for measures improve the cost-effectiveness of forest management is determined:
- for cantonal planning bases: by the size of the forest area in the canton and the size of forest area included in the plan or an impact assessment;
- for the improvement of management conditions in forestry operations: by the scale and quality of the optimisation measures planned and implemented by the canton;
- for the storage of wood in cases of exceptional wood supply: by the volume of wood that the market is temporarily unable to absorb;
- by the quality of the services provided;
- for promoting the training of forest workers: by the number of days attended on courses run by federally certified course providers;
- for the practical training of forestry specialists at university level: by the number of training days attended;
- for young forest maintenance: by the number of hectares of young forest requiring maintenance;
- for adapting forest stands specifically to changing climatic conditions: by the number of hectares over which measures are taken;
- for obtaining forest reproductive material: by the infrastructure and level of mechanisation in seed extractories and the number of tree species necessary for maintaining genetic diversity in the seed harvesting plantations;
- for adapting or reconstituting public infrastructure facilities: by the number of hectares of forest served by them.
2 The amount is negotiated between the FOEN and the canton concerned.
3 Global financial assistance for the improvement of the management conditions in forestry operations is only awarded if:
- the cooperation between or merging of enterprises is undertaken as a long-term measure;
- an economically significant volume of wood is harvested or marketed jointly; and
- business accounts are kept.
4 Global financial assistance for young forest maintenance and for adapting forest stands specifically to changing climatic conditions shall only be awarded if the measures are in accordance with near-natural silviculture methods.10
5 Global financial assistance for obtaining forest reproductive material shall only be afforded if a construction project or operating concept including cost proposals and proof of funding has been approved by the canton.11
1 Amended by No 1 5 of the O of 17 Aug. 2016, in force since 1 Jan. 2017 (AS 2016 3215).
2 Amended by No I of the O of 17 Aug. 2016, in force since 1 Jan. 2017 (AS 2016 3215).
3 Amended by No 1 5 of the O of 28 Jan. 2015 on the Amendment of Ordinance Law on the Environment, in particular with regard to the programme agreements for the Programme Period 2016–2019, in force since 1 Jan. 2016 (AS 2015 427).
4 Inserted by No 1 5 of the O of 17 Aug. 2016, in force since 1 Jan. 2017 (AS 2016 3215).
5 Inserted by No 1 5 of the O of 17 Aug. 2016, in force since 1 Jan. 2017 (AS 2016 3215).
6 Inserted by No 1 5 of the O of 17 Aug. 2016, in force since 1 Jan. 2017 (AS 2016 3215).
7 Inserted by No 1 5 of the O of 17 Aug. 2016, in force since 1 Jan. 2017 (AS 2016 3215).
8 Inserted by No 1 5 of the O of 17 Aug. 2016, in force since 1 Jan. 2017 (AS 2016 3215).
9 Inserted by No 1 5 of the O of 17 Aug. 2016, in force since 1 Jan. 2017 (AS 2016 3215). See also the transitional provisions to these amendments at the end of this text.
10 Inserted by No 1 5 of the O of 17 Aug. 2016, in force since 1 Jan. 2017 (AS 2016 3215).
11 Inserted by No 1 5 of the O of 17 Aug. 2016, in force since 1 Jan. 2017 (AS 2016 3215).
(Art. 39 ForA)
2 The Confederation shall award financial assistance in compensation for the occupation-specific costs arising from the on-site practical training of forestry personnel in the form of a flat-rate payment of 10 per cent of the training costs of the schools for forest wardens and of the courses.
3 The Confederation shall award financial assistance for the creation of teaching material for forestry personnel, on a case by case basis and amounting to a maximum of 50 per cent of the recognised costs.
(Art. 31 ForA)
1 The Confederation may award financial assistance to research and development projects that it has not commissioned itself, on a case by case basis and amounting to a maximum of 50 per cent of the project costs.
2 It may award financial assistance to organisations for the promotion and coordination of research and development, on a case by case basis and equal to at most the funding provided by third parties, provided it receives an adequate right of co-decision in these organisations.
1 The canton shall submit the application for global compensatory payments or financial assistance to the FOEN.
2 The application shall contain details of:
- the programme objectives to be achieved;
- the measures probably required to achieve the objectives and their implementation;
- the effectiveness of the measures.
3 In the case of measures that affect more than one canton, the cantons shall ensure the coordination of the applications with the other cantons concerned.
1 The FOEN shall enter into a programme agreement with the competent cantonal authority.
2 The subject matter of the programme agreement is in particular:
- the strategic programme objectives to be jointly achieved;
- the services to be provided by the canton;
- the contribution to be paid by the Confederation;
3 The programme agreement shall have a maximum term of four years.
4 The FOEN shall issue guidelines on the procedure for programme agreements and on the information and documents required in connection with the subject matter of the programme agreement.
Global compensatory payments or financial assistance are paid in instalments.
1 The canton shall provide the FOEN with a report each year on the use of the global subsidies.
2 The FOEN shall control by random sample:
- the implementation of individual measures in accordance with the programme objectives;
- the use of the subsidies paid.
1 The FOEN shall withhold the instalment payments during the programme in full or in part if the canton:
- fails to comply with its reporting obligation (Art. 49 para. 1);
- culpably causes serious disruption to its own services.
2 If it becomes apparent after the programme that the services provided are substandard, the FOEN shall require the canton to rectify the defects; it shall allow the canton an appropriate period within which to do this.
3 If installations or equipment for which financial assistance or compensatory payments have been provided are used for a purpose other than that intended, the FOEN may require the canton to arrange for the non-intended use to be stopped or reversed within a reasonable period.
1 Applications for compensatory payments or financial assistance in specific cases without the involvement of a canton must be submitted to the FOEN; all other applications must be submitted to the canton.
2 The canton shall examine the applications that it receives and pass them on to the FOEN with a justified proposal, the cantonal authorisations already available and the cantonal decision on the subsidy.
3 The FOEN shall issue guidelines on the information and documents required in connection with the application.
1 The FOEN shall issue a ruling determining the amount of the compensatory payment or the financial assistance or shall enter into an agreement with the recipient of the subsidy.
2 Payment of subsidies shall be dependent on the progress made with the measures.
1 If, despite receiving a warning, a recipient, whose application for compensatory payments or financial assistance has been approved, fails to carry out the measures or carries them in a substandard manner, the compensatory payments or financial assistance shall not be paid out or shall be reduced.
2 If compensatory payments or financial assistance have been paid out and if, despite receiving a warning, the recipient fails to carry out the measures or carries them out in a substandard manner, the recovery of the payments made is governed by Article 28 of the Subsidies Act of 5 October 19901.
3 If installations or equipment for which compensatory payments or financial assistance have been paid out are not used for the intended purpose, the FOEN may require the canton to arrange for the non-intended use to be stopped or reversed within a reasonable period.
4 If the non-intended use is not stopped or reversed, the recovery of the payments made is governed by Articles 28 and 29 of the Subsidies Act of 5 October 1990.
Article 49 applies by analogy to reporting and controlling.
1 Investment credits shall be granted if:
- the investment is necessary and suitable to protect against natural events or for the maintenance and use of the forest; and
- the investment is required due to the applicant's financial circumstances.
2 The applicant must be able to support the total financial burden.
3 The applicant must exhaust his or her own financial resources and claim any contributions available from third parties.
4 Investment credits may not be accumulated with credits granted under the Federal Act of 23 March 19621 on Agricultural Investment Credits and Business Subsidies or the Federal Act of 28 June 19742 on Investment Subsidies for Mountain Regions.
5 The cantons are not entitled to credits for their own investments.
1 [AS 1962 1273, 1972 2699, 1977 2249 No I 961, 1991 362 No II 52 857 Annex No 27, 1992 288 Annex No 47 2104. AS 1998 3033 Annex let. f]
2 [AS 1975 392, 1980 1798, 1985 387, 1991 857 Annex No 24, 1992 288 Annex No 43. AS 1997 2995 Art. 25]. See now: the FA of 6 Oct. 2006 on Regional Policy (SR 901.0).
3 Repealed by No I 21 of the O of 7 Nov. 2007 on the New System of Financial Equalisation and Division of Tasks between the Confederation and the Cantons, with effect from 1 Jan. 2008 (AS 2007 5823).
1 The FOEN shall grant the canton global loans to cover the payment of investment credits. The loans shall be interest free and repayable over 20 years.
2 The canton shall notify the FOEN each year of its probable borrowing requirements for the coming year.
(Art. 40 para. 3 ForA)
1 Applications for investment credits must be submitted to the canton.
2 The following documents must be enclosed with each application:
- the general operational plan;
- the operating accounts;
- a report on the applicant's financial circumstances.
3 Companies that are commercially contracted to maintain or use the forest must include the balance sheets and profit and loss accounts for the last two years in their application.
(Art. 40 para. 1 ForA)
1 Investment credits shall be granted:
- as construction credits to cover up to 80 per cent of the construction costs;
- to fund the remaining costs of measures in accordance with the Articles 39, 40 and 43;
- to cover up to 80 per cent the purchase costs of forestry vehicles, machines and devices;
- to cover up to 80 per cent the costs of creating forestry installations.
2 Investment credits are normally interest free. However, if the applicant can support the total financial burden, an appropriate rate of interest shall be charged.
3 No loan shall be granted for less than 10,000 francs.
(Art. 40 ForA)
1 Investment credits shall be repayable over a period of not exceeding 20 years.
2 The repayment instalments are determined according to the nature of the measure and the financial circumstances of the borrower.
3 Repayment begins:
- for investments under Article 63 paragraph 1 letters a and b, one year after completion of the project, but no more than five years after payment of the first instalment of the credit;
- for other investments, in the year following that in which the credit is paid.
4 The borrower may repay all or part of the credit without notice at any time.
6 Interest of 5 per cent shall be charged on arrears of credits or repayment instalments.
(Art. 49 ForA)
1 DETEC is authorised to independently carry out operations arising from the implementation of the ForA.
2 If the federal authorities apply other federal acts or agreements or decisions under international law which relate to the subject matter of this Ordinance, they also implement this Ordinance. Cooperation between the FOEN and the cantons is governed by Article 49 paragraph 2 ForA; statutory duties of confidentiality are reserved.1
(Art. 50 ForA)
1 The cantons shall issue the implementing provisions to the ForA and to this Ordinance within five years of the Act coming into force.
The FOEN shall determine the minimum geodata models and modelling for geobasis data in accordance with this Ordinance for which it is designated the competent federal authority in Annex 1 to the Ordinance on Geoinformation of 21 May 20082.
The following are repealed:
- the Ordinance of 1 October 19651 on the Federal Supervision of the Forest Police;
- the Ordinance of 23 May 19732 on the Appointment of Senior Forestry Officers;
- the Ordinance of 28 November 19883 on Extraordinary Measures for the Conservation of Forest;
- Articles 2–5 the Ordinance of 16 October 19564 on the Forest Plant Protection;
- the Federal Council Decree of 16 October 19565 on the Origin and Use of Forest Reproductive Material and Forest Plants;
- the Ordinance of 22 June 19706 on Investment Credits for the Forestry Sector in the Mountain Region.
1 [AS 1965 861, 1971 1192, 1977 2273 No I 18.1, 1985 670 No I 3 685 No I 6 2022]
2 [AS 1973 964, 1987 608 Art. 16 para. 1 let. e]
3 [AS 1988 2057, 1990 874]
4 [AS 1956 1220, 1959 1626, 1977 2325 No I 19, 1986 1254 Art. 70 No 3, 1987 2529, 1989 1124 Art. 2 No 2, 1992 1749 No II 4. AS 1993 104 Art. 42 let. a]
5 [AS 1956 1227, 1959 1628, 1975 402 No I 15, 1987 2531]
6 [AS 1970 765, 1978 1819]
Deforestation applications for works that are the responsibility of the cantons and which are pending on 1 January 2000 shall be governed by the previous law.
1 Instead of the criterion stated in Article 40a paragraph 1, the amount of financial assistance awarded for measures to deal with forest damage outside the protective forest carried out before 31 December 2019 may be assessed according to the scope and quality of the measures.
2 Instead of the criteria stated in Article 43 paragraph 1 letter j, the amount of financial assistance awarded for public infrastructure facilities adapted or reconstituted before 31 December 2024 may be assessed according to the scope and quality of the measures.12
1 SR 921.02 SR 814.013 Amended by No I of the O of 14 June 2013, in force since 1 July 2013 (AS 2013 1983).4 Amended by No I of the O of 14 June 2013, in force since 1 July 2013 (AS 2013 1983).5 Amended by Annex 2 No 13 of the O of 21 May 2008 on Geoinformation, in force since 1 July 2008 (AS 2008 2809).6 Inserted by Annex 2 No 13 of the O of 21 May 2008 on Geoinformation, in force since 1 July 2008 (AS 2008 2809).7 Inserted by No I of the O of 17 Aug. 2016, in force since 1 Jan. 2017 (AS 2016 3215).8 Amended by No I 21 of the O of 7 Nov. 2007 on the New System of Financial Equalisation and Division of Tasks between the Confederation and the Cantons, in force since 1 Jan. 2008 (AS 2007 5823).9 Amended by No 1 5 of the O of 28 Jan. 2015 on the Amendment of Ordinance Law on the Environment, in particular with regard to the programme agreements for the Programme Period 2016–2019, in force since 1 Jan. 2016 (AS 2015 427).10AS 2000 70311AS 2016 321512 Amended by No I 2 of the O of 17 April 2019 on Amendments to Ordinances to take account of Changes to Programme Agreements in the Environment Field for the Programme Period 2020–2024, in force since 1 Jan. 2020 (AS 2019 1487).