[Science and Environment - Includes information about the region's natural environment; as well as scientific activities specific to the region.]
"Switzerland lies at the heart of Western Europe and covers an area of 41,284 square kilometres. Of this, 68 percent is productive land (including pastures and forests) and over 6.5 percent consists of built-up areas. Switzerland measures 220 kilometres at its greatest extent from north to south, while the longest west-to-eastaxis is 348 kilometres. Its highest point is the Dufourspitze in the Monte Rosa massif in the Valais (4,634 metres above sea level), while the lowest is the surface of Lago Maggiore in Ticino (193 metres above sealevel)." "7.062 million people live in Switzerland. The average population density is 171 persons per square kilometre; however,the density of population varies greatly from region to region [..] Of the 3.8 million people in regular employment in Switzerland (full- and part-time positions), in 1996 about 5 percent worked in the primary sector (agriculture), 28 percent in the secondarysector (energy and water supplies, manufacturing and construction) and 67 percent in the tertiary sector (services and public administration). Not least because of the high population density and intensive economic activity, the environment in Switzerland is under significant pressure ­ in spite of progress in environmental protection. The focus of environmental policy is increasingly shifting from consideration of emission sources, impacts or environmental media (water, soil, air) as separate fields towards integrated environmental protection." Source: Buwal: Environmental Parameters, Introduction