Bern, 05.07.2018 - The Federal Council has taken note of the updated strategy by the National Platform for Natural Hazards PLANAT on July 4th 2018. The 2018 strategy "Management of risks from natural hazards" considers current boundary conditions such as higher incidence of extreme weather events and increasing utilisation of our living environment. Thus it contributes to securing Switzerland's living and economic environment for the long term.
A secure setting in which to live and do business is a prerequisite for prosperity and quality of life. However, there is no such thing as absolute security. Natural events can threaten people, material assets and a country’s economic vitality, as abundantly demonstrated by recent loss events such as the floods of 2005. By implementing this strategy, Switzerland will secure its living and economic environment for the long term.
Keep the well-proven and integrate the new
The 2018 strategy "Management of risks from natural hazards" supersedes the "Protection against natural hazards" strategy from 2004. Proven elements of the 2004 strategy such as the integrated risk management approach will be further pursued and developed. In the updated strategy 2018 PLANAT defines targets for managing risks from natural hazards and sets out the guiding principles for their achievement. To provide adequate protection against natural hazards such as floods, hail, storms and earthquakes, Switzerland must do more than increase its resistance so that damage can be reduced to a tolerable level. It is also important that the country rapidly regains functional capacity after an event. Finally, Switzerland must be prepared and able to adapt to changing boundary conditions, such as heat waves and increasing heavy rainfalls.
The updated strategy is consistent with other national and international strategies, including for example "Sustainable Development 2016-2019" published by the Federal Office for Spatial Development, "Adaptation to climate change 2012/2014" published by the Federal Office for the Environment and the "Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction" published by the UNO.
Who the strategy concerns
The natural hazard strategy 2018 is directed at all whose activities and decisions influence the management of risks from natural hazards. These include politicians and authorities at all levels, planners, building owners and insurance companies. Every person and every institution bears risks from natural hazards - both for themselves individually and for society. In addition, everyone has influence over the risks through their actions and behaviour. In order to achieve the envisaged targets, it is therefore important for everyone to act together in a spirit of solidarity.
The National Platform for Natural Hazards PLANAT is an extra-parliamentary commission created in 1997 by the Swiss Federal Council. It addresses protection against natural hazards in Switzerland at a strategic level and advises the Federal Council on technical issues. The commission consists of 18 experts. The Federal Council appoints them for periods of four years. Specialized offices of the federation and the cantons, faculty/research, professional associations, the economy and insurers are represented in PLANAT. The PLANAT office is organisationally affiliated to the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN).