Switzerland is planning to amend its forestry law to preserve the biodiversity of forests and recognise their role in protecting against natural disasters.

The Swiss cabinet’s proposals, now open to consultation, have a strong emphasis on benefiting the public, such as the need for forests to provide recreation, clean drinking water and protection for inhabited areas.

But the cabinet does not plan to abolish subsidies paid to the forestry sector. Instead, it wants to improve industry efficiency, including easing duties on tree replanting in certain areas.

The declining price of Swiss timber during the past few years has led to hardship in the industry.