Some 31% of Switzerland's surface area is covered by woodland.
The huge loss of forests experienced by Switzerland in the late 19th century has since been reversed thanks to strong reforestation rates over the course of the 20th century. Around 30% of forests and woodland are privately owned, while the rest is public property.
In 1876, the country introduced a law to curb deforestation. Today, the federal and cantonal authorities oversee the protection and conservation of Switzerland's forests and woodlands.
As well as their economic role as a source of building material and energy, forests offer essential protection against avalanches, floods and rockfalls. They also help stabilise the soil and hilly terrain, and provide an important habitat for many species of flora and fauna.