Country Profiles

Sustainable Development Dialogue Switzerland



Name: Mr. Daniel Wachter

Position: Head of Sustainable Development Section

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Federal Office for Spatial Development,


Berne, Switzerland

Phone: +41 31 324 1450



Composition and Membership

The Sustainable Development Dialogue in Switzerland was created in 2008.

Switzerland does not have a Council for Sustainable development in the sense of an interface institution linking the political field and civil society. The Federal Office for Spatial Development (ARE), the coordinating agency in Switzerland for sustainable development, organizes regularly, at least once a year, "Sustainable Development Dialogue Switzerland" to involve civil society, private sector and science in the further development and implementation of the national sustainable development strategy.

In addition to "Sustainable Development Dialogue Switzerland", there is an inter-ministerial, horizontal co-ordination body ("Interdepartmental Sustainable Development Committee ISDC") and a vertical co-ordination body towards the public actors on the sub-national levels ("Forum for Sustainable Development").

The Interdepartmental Sustainable Development Committee (ISDC) incorporates representatives of Government departments on the national level, whereas the Forum for Sustainable Development includes governmental representatives on local and cantonal levels.

The Sustainable Development Dialogue Switzerland is composed of civil society organisations and business associations.


Role and Functions

Sustainable Development Dialogue Switzerland has a role in:

  • advising on government policy and making policy recommendations, including a National Sustainable Development Strategy;
  • stakeholder engagement; and
  • capacity building to enable civil society organisations to better engage in sustainable development issues.

The Federal Office for Spatial Development's role extends to policy advice, recommendation, and ensuring implementation.


Recent Activities

  • Debate about the relevance of green growth for sustainable development; and
  • Stakeholder dialogue on the draft strategy in the preparation of the new National Sustainable Development Strategy 2012-2015.