Sixth National Report
Section I. Information on the targets being pursued at the national level
Section II. Implementation measures, their effectiveness, and associated obstacles and scientific and technical needs to achieve national targets
Section III. Assessment of progress towards each national target
1. Awareness of biodiversity values
A representative survey among the Liechtenstein population has not been conducted as of today. However, the growing number of participants at excursions, public action days, oral presentations and other relevant events lead to the assumption that the awareness of the Liechtenstein population with regard to biodiversity values is constantly rising and that its knowledge of how to contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity is advancing.
2. Integration of biodiversity values
Aspects of biodiversity need to be considered by law at any activity linked to area planning. Further contributions to a sustainable development of the country are provided by the implementation of the adaptation strategy on climate change. Poverty alleviation is not addressed since poverty as defined under the CBD does not occur in Liechtenstein. Up to know biodiversity values or ecosystem related services have not been transferred into monetary values (in Swiss Francs) with national accounting. In order to achieve such accounting further research needs to be done, for instance the conclusion of a national TEEB-Study. This target will thus be only achieved partly in 2020.
Due to governmental budget consolidation over the past few years several subsidies have been cut down or have been removed completely – regardless of their effects on biodiversity. New incentives have also been put on hold due to budget consolidation. The only economic sector that still receive considerable financial support is the agricultural sector, including nature as a subsector when it comes to the conservation of rough pastures. Within the countrywide budget cut of the Government the financial contributions to the agricultural sector have been spared.
4. Use of natural resources
With respect to local species that target has already been achieved. Import and export of endangered species is regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to which Liechtenstein is a contractual party.
Sustainable use of natural resources is given priority in Liechtenstein. Within spatial planning the forest and agricultural areas are the most important sectors. All Liechtenstein forests are FSC-labelled today. Measures in favour of nature-oriented forestry are complemented by nature protection areas. Complications occur within the sustainable regeneration of woods because peel and bite damages of wild animals. Especially the red deer stock succeeds its habitual capacity and therefore negatively impacts the regeneration of woods.
Around 30% of Liechtenstein’s farmers manage their business in accordance with the guidelines on ecological agriculture. In order to be entitled to receive governmental subsidies it is necessary to prove that the subsidised activities apply the “Good agricultural Practice” (Gute Landwirtschaftliche Praxis, GLP) and can demonstrate an ecological performance record (Ökologischer Leistungsnachweis, ÖLN). The ÖLN encompasses measures like proper nutrient balances, regular crop rotation or measures of soil protection.
This information only refers to factors within Liechtenstein. But Liechtenstein is in particular also an import country, which raises the question of whether the environmental impacts are exported. Unlike the assessment of exports, imports are difficult to gauge due to Liechtenstein's participation in the Swiss customs areas. No survey of the sustainability of Liechtenstein imports has thus been undertaken so far.
Due to the economic similarity (customs union), it must be assumed that the consumption of imported goods and the ecological footprint are at about the same level as in Switzerland.
Relatively spoken, Liechtenstein’s consummation rate is thus 3 times higher than the available resources on earth. Liechtenstein’s CO2 emissions account for around 65% of this negative footprint. Although Liechtenstein endeavours to reduce its emissions for several years now and considering the ecological footprints of imported goods it can be assumed that the abovementioned target may not be achieved by 2020.
5. Loss of habitats
In a densely settled country like Liechtenstein, land use planning is a crucial factor for the successful protection of biodiversity. Land use planning as municipal and national planning is executed in Liechtenstein via the Construction Act. The 11 municipalities of Liechtenstein are responsible for communal planning, while the Government is responsible for transmunicipal and cross-border planning. Such planning must be undertaken in cooperation with the municipalities. In addition to the legal requirements, the basis for land use planning is made up of master plans and construction codes with zoning plans. The zoning plans include construction zones as well as agricultural and protection zones as the most important zones.
According to the governmental Spatial Planning Report an increasing extension of settlement areas can be observed. The report outlines the situation of land use planning and spatial development in Liechtenstein as well as the need for action.
The large and largely-developed construction zones offer space for about 70’000 to 100’000 people with a current population of 38’000. The generous designation of construction zones has led to spread-out settlements, resulting in sprawling and costly infrastructure facilities and a high level of private transport.
It is envisaged to stop this trend by implementing different instruments. The National Master Plan for instance should provide a frame for national land use planning. Requests for reclassification of building areas need to prove a respective demand and the urbanisation programme Werdenberg-Liechtenstein requires the introduction of clear borders for settlement areas as well an increased density of settlements.
A positive assessment can be given to the increase in quality and quantity of the Liechtenstein forest as habitat. This is shown by the latest Forest Inventory from 2010, where it is observed that the current rate of annual forest use is under the rate of annual forest regeneration.Regarding degradation and fragmentation of habitats no studies for Liechtenstein have been concluded so far. Due to the high level of scattered urbanisation together with a corresponding infrastructure and a high share of motorized individual traffic it is assumed that Liechtenstein’s valley area can be qualified as highly fragmented. The trend to further fragmentation remains strong in the valley area. In 2013 a new connection road to an industrial zone was built. Further connection streets and new cycle tracks are planned. The abovementioned target will most likely not be achieved throughout the whole country by 2020.
6. Sustainable fisheries
Not the overfishing of local waters is considered to be the reason why more than half of all local fish species in Liechtenstein have been put on the Red List. The main reason for the disappointing status of local fish species as well as for water plants are the ecomorphological impacts on these waters. The affected waters will be subsequently revitalized depending on the availability of financial means. Regarding the legal situation with respect to the use of water-dependent organisms like fishes or crayfishes no further action is currently required. The existing Act on Fisheries including its ordinances provides rest zones and rest periods for endangered species. For some species like the crayfish a strict fishing prohibition applies. This Aichi target has therefore already been achieved.
red list index
7. Areas under sustainable management
The areas that are used for forestry, agricultural or aquatic purposes are already managed in a sustainable way. Optimising potentials especially in the agricultural sector are constantly assessed and implemented where feasible. It seems therefore realistic that Liechtenstein will achieve this target.
FSC criteria for wood
ecologically managed fields in the agricultural sector
As the results of chemical assessments of the Liechtenstein waters have shown the country’s streams are poorly loaded with nutrients. Along these waters the use of fertilizers or herbicides is prohibited. Within the last years only very few incidents of water pollution occurred.
The quality target with respect to the concentration of nitrates in Liechtenstein’s groundwater is regularly met only at one measuring station. Nitrate is considered to be the most important undesirable additive of drinking water. Nitrate is used as fertilizer within the agricultural sector as well as on green fields in settlement areas. Since plants are not capable to absorb the entire nitrate the water-soluble nitrates end up in the ground water. The concentration of nitrate in the ground water serves as indicator for water quality since ground water with high nitrate concentration would most likely be loaded with other harmful substances as well.
A positive trend has been observed with regard to air quality development. The concentrations of nitrogen, ozone and particulate matter decreased within the last years.
Concentration of nitrate in ground water
concentration of nitro oxides in the air
ozone concentration in the air
concentration of particle matter in the air