‘Protection forest’ module

Forests can protect populations and infrastructures from the impact of natural hazards, such as avalanches, rockfall, landslides and floods. They can prevent hazard processes or reduce their influence. The NFI assesses the condition and development of the Swiss protection forests at the national level.

The aim is to use NFI data to assess the effectiveness of forests in terms of their protective function, according to the specifications set in the guide ‘Sustainability and Success Monitoring in Protection Forests’ (‘Nachhaltigkeit und Erfolgskontrolle im Schutzwald NaiS’). The criteria vary depending on the type of site and natural hazard. They include, for example, the tree species mixture, the presence of regeneration, and the length and width of stand gaps. In addition to the terrestrial forest inventory, remote sensing methods are used to survey the attributes. To optimise the quality and the spatial representativeness of the NFI data, new methods, e.g. terrestrial laser scanning, are continuously tested within this module.