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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –

Source: Swiss Canton of Uri – news in German

20th November 2020

As a mountain and tourism canton, Uri is particularly affected by climate change. The people of Uri experience hot, dry summers, melting glaciers and extreme weather events up close. Almost all areas of life are affected, such as health, transport, agriculture and alpine farming, water supply and tourism. All climate scenarios indicate an increase in extreme events. Even if the emission of so-called greenhouse gases is greatly reduced in the future. It is all the more important to deal with the challenges of climate change in addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Dialogue with the communities

The Office for Environmental Protection invited the municipalities, the two corporations and the tourism associations to an exchange of experiences. This is the second climate workshop after 2019. The focus was on natural hazards.

In an input presentation, Andreas Fischer from MeteoSchweiz reported on the effects of climate change and specifically the expected development of extreme events in the canton of Uri. Lukas Eggimann, natural hazards officer of the canton and Herbert Duss, project manager for flood protection in the canton of Uri, illustrated the natural hazard situation in the canton of Uri using impressive examples. With climate change, debris flows, shallow landslides and rockfalls will increase. The development of the avalanches is still uncertain. New events are also observed. When the glaciers recede, glacier lakes can form, which in addition to natural beauty also bring new dangers. The eruption of the Griss-Seeli in the Klausen Pass area two years ago, which caused major flood damage on the Urnerboden, is a good example of this.

Look ahead together

According to the cantonal experts, measures against increasing natural hazards must begin with planning, protective structures and emergency organization. In addition to the protective structures, spatial planning measures are increasingly in demand. This means that corridors in the area must be left open, in which water and debris can run off in an extreme event. Such an overload corridor is defined, for example, in the current flood protection project in the lower reaches of the Palanggenbach (Seedorf / Attinghausen). With a sophisticated emergency planning and organization as well as the use of the latest technology, extreme events can be recognized quickly, explained Oliver Indergand, responsible for emergency organization at the canton of Uri. Cooperation with local management staff and fire departments is of central importance. The flood event in October this year was not only noticed by the large amount of water. The rapid increase in water runoff was also extraordinary. This is also an indication of changes due to climate change. Indergand explained that the emergency organization had passed its test at this event.

Stay on the ball continuously

In 2011, the government council adopted the “Dealing with Climate Change” strategy. The Office for Environmental Protection takes on the coordination function. Both cross-sectoral cooperation between the cantonal departments and cooperation with municipalities and other interest groups in Uri are promoted. The annual workshops under the title “Adaptation to Climate Change – Dialogue with the Communities” are part of a long-term collaboration. When dealing with climate change, the exchange between those affected is an important prerequisite for success.

 

Further information in the event of queries from media professionals: Sophia Rudin, Climate Officer, Office for Environmental Protection, Canton Uri (Tel. 041 875 24 33, E-Mail: sophia.rudin@ur.ch)

Alexander Imhof, Head of the Office for Environmental Protection, Canton Uri (Tel. 041 875 24 49, Mobile: 078 648 36 49, E-Mail: alexander.imhof@ur.ch)

 

Masses of snow that start to slide trigger debris flows and mudslides, like here on the motorway near Gurtnellen. Such process chains will occur more frequently in the future.

 

 

When the Clariden Glacier on the Klausen Pass melted away, the Griess Glacier Lake was formed. Due to the strong snowmelt, the lake erupted in the winter before last and caused damage to the Urnerboden.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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