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How did the existence of the Alps impact the development of Switzerland?

How did the existence of the Alps impact the development of Switzerland?

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Can anyone tell me what was the role of Alps and Alpine region in Swiss development of Switzerland?

The Alpine Mountains were HUGE in the development of Switzerland.

There is a reason that Switzerland contains French, German, and Italian speaking regions. These regions were the main area in each linguistic group that could successfully resist the feudal lords of what later became the "countries" of France, Germany, and Italy. The polyglot members of the so-called Confederation of Helvetia basically banded together for mutual protection from these lords, in their own common interest.

At a time when the stirrup gave a huge advantage to cavalry over infantry, thereby allowing rich, mounted, knights to terrorize and "enserf" poor peasants, the mountainous Alps gave the infantry of "Switzerland" the wherewithal to fight back against attempts to force them into serfdom (as was the case for the mountains of Greece and Rome before them).

___ History of Switzerland

Originally inhabited by the Helvetians, or Helvetic Celts, the territory comprising modern Switzerland came under Roman rule during the Gallic wars in the 1st century BC and remained a Roman province until the 4th century AD. Under Roman influence, the population reached a high level of civilization and enjoyed a flourishing commerce. Important cities, such as Geneva, Basel, and Zurich, were linked by military roads that also served as trade arteries between Rome and the northern tribes.

After the decline of the Roman Empire, Switzerland was invaded by Germanic tribes from the north and west. Some tribes, such as the Alemanni in central and northeastern Switzerland, and the Burgundians, who ruled western Switzerland, settled there. In 800, the country became part of Charlemagne's empire. It later passed under the dominion of the Holy Roman emperors in the form of small ecclesiastic and temporal holdings subject to imperial sovereignty.

With the opening of a new important north-south trade route across the Alps in the early 13th century, the Empire's rulers began to attach more importance to the remote Swiss mountain valleys, which were granted some degree of autonomy under direct imperial rule. Fearful of the popular disturbances flaring up following the death of the Holy Roman Emperor in 1291, the ruling families from Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden signed a charter to keep public peace and pledging mutual support in upholding autonomous administrative and judicial rule. The anniversary of the charter's signature (August 1, 1291) today is celebrated as Switzerland's National Day.

Between 1315 and 1388 the Swiss Confederates inflicted three crushing defeats on the Habsburgs, whose aspiration to regional dominion clashed with Swiss self-determination. During that period, five other localities (cantons in modern-day parlance) joined the original three in the Swiss Confederation. Buoyed by their feats, the Swiss Confederates continuously expanded their borders by military means and gained formal independence from the Holy Roman Empire in 1499. Routed by the French and Venetians near Milan in 1515, they renounced expansionist policies. By then the Swiss Confederation had become a union of 13 localities with a regularly convening diet administering the subject territories. Swiss mercenaries continued for centuries to serve in other armies the Swiss Guard of the Pope is a vestige of this tradition.

The Reformation led to a division between the Protestant followers of Zwingli and Calvin in the German and French parts of the country respectively, and the Catholics. Despite two centuries of civil strife, the common interest in the joint subject territories kept the Swiss Confederation from falling apart. The traffic in mercenaries as well as the alienation between the predominantly Protestant Swiss and their Catholic neighbors kept the Swiss Confederation out of the wars of the European powers, which formally recognized Swiss neutrality in the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. The Swiss remained neutral during the War of the First Coalition against revolutionary France, but Napoleon, nonetheless, invaded and annexed much of the country in 1797-98, replacing the loose confederation with a centrally governed unitary state.

The Congress of Vienna in 1815 re-established the old confederation of sovereign states and enshrined Switzerland's status of permanent armed neutrality in international law. In 1848, after a brief civil war between Protestant liberals seeking a centralized national state and Catholic conservatives clinging on to the old order, the majority of Swiss Cantons opted for a Federal State, modeled in part on the U.S. Constitution. The Swiss Constitution established a range of civic liberties and made far-reaching provisions to maintain cantonal autonomy to placate the vanquished Catholic minority. The Swiss amended their Constitution extensively in 1874, establishing federal responsibility for defense, trade, and legal matters, as well as introducing direct democracy by popular referendum. To this day, cantonal autonomy and referendum democracy remain trademarks of the Swiss polity.

Switzerland industrialized rapidly during the 19th century and by 1850 had become the second most industrialized country in Europe after Great Britain. During World War I serious tension developed between the German, French, and Italian-speaking parts of the country, and Switzerland came close to violating its neutrality but managed to stay out of hostilities. Labor unrest culminating in a general strike in 1918 marked the interwar period, but in 1937 employers and the largest trade union concluded a formal agreement to settle disputes peacefully, which governs workplace relations to the present day. During World War II, Switzerland came under heavy pressure from the fascist powers, which after the fall of France in 1940 completely surrounded the country. Some political and economic leaders displayed a mood of appeasement, but a combination of tactical accommodation and demonstrative readiness to defend the country helped Switzerland survive unscathed.

The Cold War enhanced the role of neutral Switzerland and offered the country a way out of its diplomatic isolation after World War II. Economically, Switzerland integrated itself into the American-led Western postwar order, but it remained reluctant to enter supranational bodies. Switzerland did not for many decades join the United Nations, even though Geneva became host to the UN's European headquarters and the country played an active role in many of the UN's specialized agencies. Switzerland also remained aloof in the face of European integration efforts, waiting until 1963 to join the Council of Europe. It still remains outside the European Union. Instead, Switzerland in 1960 helped form the European Free Trade Area, which did not strive for political union. Following the Cold War, Switzerland joined the Bretton Woods institutions in 1992 and finally became a member of the United Nations in 2002.

Source: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs: Background Note: Switzerland

An icon of Europe

The Alps are an iconic symbol of Europe. One of the continent's prime tourist destinations, the range provides much more than holiday destinations. Forty per cent of Europe’s fresh water originates there, supplying tens of millions of Europeans in lowland areas. No wonder the Alps are sometimes called the 'water towers of Europe'.

This fresh water is vital, not only to the eight Alpine countries but a huge part of continental Europe. A recent EEA report, 'Regional climate change and adaptation — The Alps facing the challenge of changing water resources', considers the effects of climate change on fresh water supply and demand in key Alpine regions.

Focus: climate change impacts on the Alpine ecosystem

Climate change impact on Alpine ecosystem services is not limited to its effect on drinking water supplies. For every 1 ºC increase in temperature, the snowline rises by about 150 metres. As a result, less snow will accumulate at low elevations. Nearly half of all ski resorts in Switzerland, and even more in Germany, Austria and the Pyrenees, will face difficulties in attracting tourists and winter sport enthusiasts in the future.

Plant species are also on the move northward and uphill. So-called 'pioneer species' are moving upwards. Plants that have adapted to the cold are now being driven out of their natural ranges. European plant species might have shifted hundreds of kilometres northwards by the late-21st century and 60 % of mountain plant species may face extinction.

Observed and projected reductions in permafrost are also expected to increase natural hazards and damage to high altitude infrastructure. The 2003 heatwave across Europe demonstrates the potentially severe impacts of higher temperatures and drought on human wellbeing and water‑reliant economic sectors (such as power generation). Melting reduced the mass of the Alpine glaciers by one-tenth in that single year and tens of thousands of people died across Europe.

The Alps provide a preview of the challenges ahead for ecosystems, habitats and populations across Europe and the world. In a story on the Arctic, which follows, we will hear from people living in Arctic Europe about the impacts climate change is already having on their lives.

Tourism in numbers - The Alps

The Alps are also among the most visited regions. About 60-80 million people visit the Alps each year as tourists. Tourism activities in the Alps generate close to EUR 50 billion in annual turnover and provide 10-12% of the jobs (5,9). There are over 600 ski resorts and 10,000 ski installations in the Alps. France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy provide over 85% of Europe&rsquos skiing area. France has the highest winter season turnover of all these four countries (5,10).

19 % of the area faces increasing economic problems. For 18 % of the area, the economy, settlements and cultural heritage are breaking down as people leave (12). This is particularly the case in southern France, some parts of Italy (e.g. Piemont) and Slovenia. Only tourism can reverse this trend but the number of tourists visiting the Alps has either been constant or decreasing since the 1980s. In these areas forests move into grassland and the area becomes less attractive for tourism (13).

6. The Most Innovative Country in the World

In 2018, Switzerland ranked first for the eighth consecutive year as the most innovative country in the world in The Global Innovation Index.

In particular, the canton Vaud’s economy has undergone some major transformations. Based on a study by the Observatoire BCV de l’économie Vaudoise, from a farming-based economy in 1860 to a land of Start-Ups today, Vaud’s economy is now one of Switzerland’s biggest and fastest-growing, thanks to its ‘large services sector, diversified manufacturing base, and focus on niche markets.”

Social Stratification

Classes and Castes. In one of the wealthiest countries in the world, the richest 20 percent of the population owns 80 percent of total private assets. Yet the class structure is not particularly visible. The middle class is large and for its members, upward or downward social mobility is rather easy.

Symbols of Social Stratification. The cultural norm is for wealth to remain discreet. Too manifest a demonstration of wealth is negatively valued, but poverty is perceived as shameful, and many people hide their economic situation.

From 1961 to Today

World Wildlife Fund was conceived in April, 1961, and set up shop in September, 1961, at IUCN's headquarters in Morges, Switzerland. H.R.H. Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands became the organization's first president.

H.R.H. Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, in 1961 became president of the British National Appeal, the first national organization in the World Wildlife Fund family.

World Wildlife Fund, Inc. (WWF)&mdashthe U.S. appeal&mdashbecame the second national organization to be formed in 1961. The giant panda becomes the logo for WWF.

Launch of WWF at the Royal Society of Arts, London, September 28, 1961. From left to right: Peter Scott, Lord Hurcomb holding a panda, Julian Huxley and Jean Baer.

In its first year, the Board approves five projects totaling $33,500. Early projects include work with the bald eagle, the Hawaiian sea bird, the giant grebe of Guatemala, the Tule goose in Canada and the red wolf in the southern United States.

WWF also finances Ambassador Philip K. Crowe's 1961 mission to Central America and Mexico, during which the ambassador meets with government officials to build support for conservation.

Another project in 1961 helps Colombian conservationists establish a small nature reserve. These efforts supplement WWF support for the conservation programs of IUCN, the International Council for Bird Preservation (ICBP) and WWF-International.

Incorporated in the District of Columbia on December 1, 1961, WWF-U.S. names Dwight D. Eisenhower its President of Honor.

Ira N. Gabrielson and Russell E. Train were the first president and vice president, respectively, of WWF-U.S.

A WWF grant helps establish the Charles Darwin Foundation Research Station in the Galapagos Islands.

The College of African Wildlife Management is established in Tanzania with grant funding from WWF.

WWF hires its first scientist, Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy, as a project administrator, in 1973.

WWF grants $38,000 to the Smithsonian Institution to study the tiger population of the Chitwan Sanctuary in Nepal, allowing scientists to successfully use radio tracking devices for the first time in 1973.

WWF purchases 37,000 acres adjacent to Kenya's Lake Nakuru. Nearly 30 bird species depend on the lake, including a million flamingoes for which the lake is the principle feeding ground in 1973.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna & Flora (CITES) is negotiated in 1973, with Russell E. Train leading the U.S. government delegation as Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

To date, the CITES international agreement has been signed by over 170 nations that are committed to working together to ensure wild plant and animal species are not threatened with extinction by uncontrolled trade and exploitation.

WWF starts to focus not only on species-related conservation projects, but also on protecting habitat by establishing national parks and nature reserves.

WWF begins awarding the annual $50,000 Getty Prize for outstanding contributions to wildlife conservation in 1974. The Prize increases to $100,000 in 1999 and focuses on the education of future conservationists.

WWF in 1975 helps create Corcovado National Park, located on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula. Corcovado contains 13 major habitat types and is the best example of a Central American tropical forest now under protection.

WWF and IUCN in 1976 create TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring network that works to ensure trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the conservation of nature.

With critical support from WWF and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the IUCN in 1980 publishes the ground-breaking World Conservation Strategy, stating that humanity exists as part of nature and has no future unless nature and natural resources are conserved.

Finca La Planada, a 3,700-acre farm in Colombia, becomes a nature reserve, thanks to the joint efforts of WWF and the Colombian Foundation for Higher Education in 1983. La Planada is a tropical moist forest with tremendous floral and faunal diversity.

WWF establishes the Primate Action Fund in 1983 to support short-term needs that lay the groundwork for larger investigations&mdashparticularly important for conservation work in tropical countries where primates originate.

WWF's long-established support of projects in Africa is strengthened by the creation of an Africa program and a formal tie (since discontinued) with the African Wildlife Foundation in 1983.

In a New York Times editorial in 1984, WWF vice president Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy sets forth the concept of using Third World debt reduction to protect the environment. Through these "debt for nature" swaps, WWF will convert portions of national debts into Funds for Conservation.

School children across the U.S. respond to WWF's 'Pennies for Pandas' campaign in 1984, donating more than $10,000 for panda conservation. Nancy Reagan personally delivers the gift to the Chinese government during a visit to Beijing.

Building on 1980's World Conservation Strategy, WWF in 1985 launches Wildlands & Human Needs, a program that demonstrates the economic circumstances of rural people who share their land with wild animals can improve without degrading the natural habitats.

WWF in 1985 expands conservation programs in Asia and Africa, showcasing the new Annapurna National Park in Nepal and strengthening projects to protect mountain gorillas in Rwanda.

The Conservation Foundation, a New York, and later Washington, DC &ndash based conservation policy institute, formally affiliates with WWF-US in 1985 &ndash a merger which is completed in 1990.

The Mexican government in 1986 protects as an ecological reserve the area where 100 million Monarch butterflies converge each winter, representing a tremendous victory for Monarca, a WWF supported organization created by local citizens just six years ago.

WWF celebrates its 25th anniversary in 1986 with a convocation of leaders from different faith traditions in Assisi, Italy.

On the island of Madagascar, the greater bamboo lemur - thought to be extinct since 1972 - is re-discovered by WWF-sponsored researchers in 1986. WWF also helps reintroduce the Golden Lion Tamarin to Brazil's Atlantic Forest.

WWF's wildlife trade arm, TRAFFIC, launches an extensive publicity campaign to combat illegal wildlife trade in 1986.

WWF helps create the first national park in Bhutan by transforming the Manas Wildlife Sanctuary in 1986.

WWF in 1987 is instrumental in creating the Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve, which protects one of the largest jaguar populations in Central America, as well as the endangered scarlet macaw.

WWF helps establish the Guaraquea Ecological Station in 1987, and a 770-square-mile protected area surrounding it, in the Brazilian state of Parana. Extensive mangroves and primeval Atlantic forest in the area shelter the endemic Chau parrot, among other wildlife.

In partnership with the Frankfurt Ecological Society, WWF in 1987 undertakes a comprehensive ecological study of Serengeti National Park, providing essential information about wildlife population dynamics and habitat.

WWF and the Malawi government work together in 1987 to assess the environmental impact of traditional fisheries and to provide villagers in Lake Malawi National Park with viable economic alternatives to ecologically damaging fishing practices.

WWF in 1988 arranges a $3 million debt-for-nature swap in Costa Rica, as well as additional swaps in the Philippines for $2 million and Ecuador for $1 million.

WWF collaborates with Cultural Survival in 1988 to help Ecuador's Awndians gain title to their homeland in the tropical forests near the Colombian border, and to manage their wildlands productively.

WWF's innovative Lumparda Elephant Project in 1988 leads to a sharp decline in poaching of elephants and black rhinos in Zambia, by establishing an adjacent buffer zone for economic activities and employing local people as scouts to protect wildlife.

WWF's campaign to save the African elephant in 1989 plays an important part in the decision by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) to enact a ban on the ivory trade.

WWF arranges a $2.1 million debt-for-nature swap for Madagascar in 1989, with the help of a $1 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development - the first major U.S. government support for a debt-for-nature swap.

WWF and The Conservation Foundation merge in 1990, formalizing a relationship that began in 1985 when The Conservation Foundation first affiliated with WWF.

WWF convenes the Cooperative Working Group on Bird Trade in 1990, bringing together the pet industry, aviculturalists, zoos, animal welfare organizations & conservationists. The group recommends that the U.S. end the import of most wild-caught birds for sale as pets.

WWF in 1991 helps create the Enterprise for the Americas Initiative, which to date has gene-
rated more than $150 million in conservation and development funding from the proceeds of restructured government-to-government debt in seven Latin American countries.

With support from WWF, TRAFFIC opens an office covering eastern and southern Africa&mdashthe heart of elephant country&mdashin 1991.

WWF in 1992 begins creating "conservation trust funds" for a number of high-priority conservation areas. These trusts act as foundations, providing stable, long-term funding that can meet a country's recurrent environmental costs.

WWF in 1993 completes a $19 million debt-for-nature swap in the Philippines, the largest such swap ever undertaken by a nongovernmental organization.

WWF in 1993 helps create the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to find solutions which promote responsible stewardship of the world's forests. FSC grows to a global network of more than 40 offices in the United States and around the world.

WWF launches the Russell E. Train Education for Nature (EFN) Program in 1994 to build capacity for conservation in Africa, Asia, and Latin America by supporting academic and mid-career training. To date, EFN has awarded over 1000 scholarships and grants.

WWF in 1994 initiates and leads the effort of mainstream environmental groups to secure congressional approval of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the first trade convention to address the environment.

WWF in 1996 works with Malaysia and the Philippines to establish the Turtle Islands Heritage Protected Area, the world's first transborder marine protected area for sea turtles.

Our Stolen Future, written by WWF senior scientist Theo Colburn and two colleagues, is published in 1996. The book gives a vivid account of the discovery that some man-made chemicals disrupt the endocrine system in wildlife and humans.

WWF negotiates a debt-for-nature swap in Madagascar worth $3.2 million in 1996. Funding is provided by the Dutch government.

WWF in 1997 launches the Living Planet Campaign, a new vision for preserving Earth's biodiversity. The centerpiece of the campaign is the Global 200, a framework of more than 200 terrestrial, marine and freshwater ecoregions.

World Bank President James Wolfensohn in 1997 introduces a partnership with WWF to bring 500 million acres of forest under independent certification as sustainably managed by 2005, and to establish an additional 50 million acres of new forest protected areas.

The government of Nepal declares Kanchenjunga, the world's third-highest mountain, as a special conservation area in 1997.

Several Canadian oil companies donate 320,000 acres of exploration rights off Canada's Pacific Coast to establish a new marine preserve for orcas, sea otters, starfish and hundreds of other marine species in 1997.

WWF and Unilever in 1997 establish the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) to assure the long-term sustainability of global fish stocks and the integrity of marine ecosystems. Two years later MSC becomes a fully independent nonprofit organization.

In a pledge developed through the WWF-World Bank Alliance, the president of Brazil in 1998 commits to provide legal protection for 10 percent of the Brazilian rain forest, an area greater than all of the national parks in the contiguous United States combined.

WWF plays a key role in persuading Ecuador to enact a sweeping new law to protect the Galapagos Islands in 1998. The law creates a marine sanctuary around the islands to a 40-mile limit, bans industrial-scale fishing in the area and ensures tourist revenues support conservation.

Namibia in 1998 establishes the Communal Area Conservancies Program, designating four communally-run nature conservancies covering 4.2 million acres of critical wildlife habitat.

These new conservancies are the first stage in the creation of a broader network of conservancies under a WWF-cosponsored conservation initiative called LIFE (Living in a Finite Environment).

WWF in 1999 helps craft and secure support from the fishing industry for a proposal to establish a 186-square-nautical-mile no-fishing zone in the Dry Tortugas within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

WWF in 1999 convenes the Yaounde Forest Summit in Yaounde, Cameroon. At the Summit, six African heads of state jointly announce plans to create 12 million acres of new cross-border forest protected areas in the Congo Basin.

WWF establishes Climate Savers, partnering with leading corporations to help them reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

WWF and Fundacion Vida Silvestre Argentina in 1999 are instrumental in winning passage of legislation to protect a 2.5 million-acre forest corridor connecting existing reserves in Argentina's Misiones Province and neighboring Brazil.

In 2000, The number of forest acres certified under the principles of the FSC reaches 44 million, including 6.4 million acres in the United States.

The President of Brazil's 1998 pledge to create 70 million acres of new protected area in the Amazon expands in 2000, with a new commitment to strengthen the management of an additional 30 million acres of existing protected areas.

International standards for fisheries management are established in 2000 under the MSC. Certified Australian rock lobster comes to market, and Alaska salmon, which represents more than six percent of the total annual U.S. fish catch, is certified as well.

Central African nations in 2001 surpass commitments made at the Yaounde Summit. These governments established nearly 13 million acres of protected areas in the Congo Basin, and are giving special attention to anti-poaching and sustainable forestry.

In the Terai Arc of the Eastern Himalayan lowlands, WWF in 2001 spurs progress toward the ambitious goal of creating wildlife corridors linking 11 protected areas between Nepal's Royal Chitwan National Park and India's Corbett National Park, an area of 12,160 acres.

The government of Nepal has doubled the size of Royal Bardia National Park to nearly 450,000 acres in 2001, and hundreds of thousands of tree seedlings have been planted in two priority restoration corridors.

The Amazon Region Protected Areas (ARPA) program launches in 2002. ARPA , an initiative of the Brazilian government spearheaded by WWF, will triple the Amazon protected areas system over the next decade.

The Brazilian government creates Tumucumaque National Park in the Brazilian Amazon in 2002, and WWF commits $1 million for its management. This 9.4 million-acre park is the largest tropical park in the world.

A debt-for-nature swap will provide $10.6 million for the conservation of more than 27.5 million acres in the Peruvian Amazon.

Funding for the swap is generated through an unprecedented partnership between WWF, Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. government.

WWF secures a $53 million commitment from the U.S. government in 2003 for the new Congo Basin Forest Partnership. Working with six African governments, science-based priorities are defined for protecting species and habitats in the region.

After three years of intensive work by WWF, the 1.7-million acre Chandless State Park is created in 2003 in the Brazilian Amazon.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) in 2003 officially endorses WWF's Africa Stockpiles Program initiative and makes a $25 million commitment to the program, which aims to clean up and safely dispose of more than 50,000 metric tons of obsolete pesticide waste stockpiled throughout Africa.

Negotiations by WWF and partners in 2004 culminate in funding to protect nearly 11 million acres of tropical forest in Colombia through a $10 million debt-for-nature swap and $15 million from the Global Environment Facility.

A new census in 2004 shows WWF efforts to protect African rhinos are paying off: there are 3,600 black rhinos, a substantial increase from the 2,400 left in the 1990s&mdashand 11,000 white rhinos, up from fewer than 100 a century ago.

WWF and partners in 2004 launch the International Smart Gear Competition, encouraging the design of innovative fishing gear to reduce accidental deaths of marine mammals, birds and sea turtles.

WWF and the Chinese government in 2004 release the most comprehensive study ever done of pandas in the wild, showing nearly 50 percent more pandas than previously thought.

WWF's Board of Directors in 2005 adopts a 10-year goal: to measurably conserve 15 to 20 of the world's most important ecoregions, and in so doing, transform markets, policies, and institutions in order to reduce threats to these places and the diversity of life on Earth.

WWF in 2005 establishes the Mesoamerican Reef Trust Fund, benefiting Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico. It is the first conservation trust fund to be implemented on an ecoregional scale.

WWF supports the American Prairie Foundation&rsquos acquisition of 31,320 acres of land in Montana for wildlife restoration. In conjunction with a continent-wide effort to save the American bison, this iconic species is reintroduced to the land after an absence of 120 years.

In the wake of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, WWF develops Green Reconstruction Policy Guidelines in 2005 to be used by the American Red Cross as a blueprint for reconstruction efforts.

WWF in 2006 defeats a proposal for the world's largest oil palm plantation, which threatens to destroy the last remaining intact forests of Borneo. Governments of Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei commit to the Heart of Borneo declaration to conserve and sustainably manage the forests.

WWF in 2006 engages with Wal-Mart on sustainability efforts focused on its supply chain, including MSC certification of all fisheries, participation in the Global Forest & Trade Network, Mining Certification Guidelines, Better Cotton Initiative and other agriculture-related issues.

WWF in 2006 supports the declaration of the 4.7 million-acre Juruena National Park in the Amazon. With this new park, a total of 33 million acres of new strict nature protection and 18.5 million acres of new sustainable use areas have been created since ARPA's inception in 2002.

WWF in 2006 receives the largest gift in its history, $34.6 million, from the estate of H. Guy Di Stefano. The donation is earmarked for projects with potential for large and immediate impact on WWF's worldwide conservation efforts

WWF and The Coca-Cola Company in 2007 announce a $20 million partnership to focus on seven important river basins, global supply chain and water use efficiency in its bottling plants.

WWF in 2007 helps Russia establish two new national parks in key tiger habitat. Covering 419,000 acres, these are the first parks in the region to balance conservation and recreational uses.

At the meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in 2007, all 21 heads of state in attendance, including U.S. President Bush and Indonesian President Yudhoyono, commit to advance the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security.

WWF in 2007 forms the Climate Savers Computing Initiative with Google, IBM, Dell, Intel and others, establishing new efficiency standards for computers that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54 million tons per year.

WWF organizes the first Earth Hour in Sydney, Australia in 2007.

The largest debt-for-nature swap in Madagascar's history is agreed to by the governments of Madagascar and France in 2008. The swap allocates roughly $20 million over five years, and is part of a global effort led by WWF.

In direct response to a WWF-led campaign, Staples, the largest office products company in the U.S., ends its relationship with Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) because of its poor environmental practices.

WWF helps Bhutan create the 1,442-square mile Wangchuck Centennial Park, the second-largest park in the country. With the creation of this park, 49 percent of Bhutan's land cover is protected.

Governors of Sumatra's 10 provinces sign an agreement pledging to restore critical ecosystems in Sumatra and protect areas with high conservation values. WWF will help implement this political commitment.

In 2008, Earth Hour goes global, becoming the world&rsquos largest environmental activism event.

The U.S. House of Representatives passes H.R. 2454, The American Clean Energy and Security Act,
marking the first time a house of Congress has passed legislation limiting greenhouse gas emissions.
WWF helped draft language in the bill addressing forest carbon, clean tech and adaptation.

WWF, Fundacion Carlos Slim (FCS) and the Mexican government launch the Alianza Mexico, an initiative to establish Mexico as a global model for conservation. The Alianza plans an initial $100 million investment from FCS and other donors to support conservation.

The 10-year Regional Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) Plan of Action, which sets steps to address growing threats to the region's wildlife and habitat, is agreed to at the CTI Leaders' Summit in Indonesia. WWF was intimately involved in the development of the plan.

Year of the Tiger: TX2: The Year of the Tiger campaign, WWF&rsquos first species specific global campaign in more than 20 years, launches with the goal to double the number of tigers by 2022.

Earth Hour City Challenge&mdasha year-long competition asking U.S. cities to prepare for increasingly extreme weather and to promote renewable energy&mdashcalls on 1,700 towns to take action.

Thai Prime Minister pledges to end domestic ivory trade in Thailand, the world&rsquos largest unregulated ivory market, marking a major win in WWF&rsquos efforts to stop wildlife crime.

ARPA (Amazon Region Protected Areas), the largest tropical forest conservation project in history, receives funding to protect 150 million acres of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest.

WWF and Apple announce groundbreaking project to boost responsible forestry management and increase FSC-certified forestlands within China.

WWF embarks on a bold new plan to protect Sumatra&rsquos rain forest, in a key area known as Thirty Hills. Working with the Frankfurt Zoological Society and The Orangutan Project, WWF will help protect some of the most biologically important forests on the planet, along with the wildlife, indigenous communities and forest based carbon they hold.

In September, over a million people sign a WWF petition to stop the slaughter of elephants.

In December, 196 nations meeting in Paris, finalize a global agreement aimed at curbing climate change, and delivering on many of WWF&rsquos key priorities.

In April, WWF and the Global Tiger Forum announce that the number of wild tigers has increased for the first time in more than 100 years.

Apps for Earth, WWF&rsquos collaboration with Apple in the 10 days around Earth Day, generates over $8 million in revenue and increased awareness.

8 disgusting diseases older troops had to worry about

Posted On April 29, 2020 15:41:39

So, it turns out there’s a reason your local medic wants to look at your body parts and fill you with pills, and it’s not because they’re a pervert — I mean, they probably are, but that’s not why they’re doing it. See, your ancestors fought in wars where it was fairly common their kidneys to swell up and burn, their genitals to start dripping pus, and their livers to grow holes and leak bile into their blood.

If you consider any of the descriptions above humorous or entertaining (sicko), then read on!

Soldiers undergo delousing on the Serbian front of World War I, an effort to reduce diseases like trench fever.

Trench fever

Trench fever was a fever characterized by skin lesions, sore muscles and joints, and headaches — yeah, not much fun. It was first recognized in 1915 as it spread through the trenches of World War I, but it also broke out in some German units in World War II.

It was spread through infected body lice and usually cleared up in a couple of months, but became chronic in rare cases. At least, with trench fever, the lesions were mostly confined to your skin and back… unlike the next entry.

Front and back cover of a truly disturbing book given to World War I troops headed back to the states, apparently filled to the brim will all sorts of disgusting genital bacteria.

(National Museum of Health and Medicine, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology)

Literal blue balls (thanks to genital lesions!)

We’re not including a photo here for obvious reasons. A soft chancre is an “infectious, painful, ragged venereal ulcer” that develops at the site of Haemophilus ducreyi. The bacteria can also cause “buboes, or ‘blue balls'” according to a 1918 pamphlet issued by the War Department.

After a regrettable Google search and lots of crying, this author can confirm that the ulcers look very painful, but nothing about the affected organs looks particularly blue.

Treatment for gonorrhea in 1911. Yes, the doctor is holding what you think he is, and that injection is going where you hoped it wouldn’t.

The clap and syphilis

While gonorrhea — also known as “the clap” — and syphilis are still common STDs, early detection on military bases and a lack of fraternization with locals has made it less of a problem in modern wars than when your grandparents fought. But for troops marching across Europe, hitting on as many French girls as they could, getting a series of sores on their genitals or seeing the dreaded discharge come out of their naughty bits was a real possibility.

And, back then, the only sure-fire test available for diagnoses was getting “rodded off the range,” a test where a doctor slid a cotton swab into a man’s “barrel” and swirled it around 5-10 times. Now, blood and urine tests are used instead. Big win for modern science.

Not today, tuberculosis. Not today.


Another disease that was a bigger problem for grandpa than it is for you, tuberculosis is a nasty infection that usually hits the lungs, causing bloody coughs, but can also wreck your liver, kidneys, and other organs. It causes chest pain, breathing troubles, fatigue, chills, and other issues that absolutely suck, especially while in a World War I trench.

It is spread through the air and infected surfaces, which is a big problem when thousands of dudes are sleeping on top of each other in crowded bunkers.

Typhoid Mary, famous for being imprisoned by New York authorities after she was found to be a carrier of typhoid fever.

Typhoid fever

Typhoid fever, caused by salmonella that infects the intestines, was a huge problem in the Civil War and World War I. Back then, the particularly bad sanitation practices allowed fecal material from infected troops to make it into the food and into the digestive tracts of healthy ones. It triggered skin lesions, diarrhea or constipation, trouble breathing, and fever, among other symptoms.

In the Civil War, doctors hadn’t even figured out the disease yet, and treatment basically involved throwing a bunch of home remedies at the problem while continuing the study the disease’s spread. By World War I, we at least knew what caused it and had a vaccine, but still no cure. It wasn’t until after World War II that the disease became treatable.

War nephritis

Nephritis is inflammation of the kidneys. “War nephritis” was named by doctors in World War I who were looking into a sudden increase in cases with additional symptoms, like headaches, vertigo, and shallow breath.

While it’s still very possible to experience nephritis in war today, the worsened symptoms observed in World War I were thought to be tied to conditions in the trenches and along the front. Nephritis limits the kidneys’ ability to filter the blood, and exposure to the cold and wet conditions of wartime Europe made the problem much worse.

This is your intestines on dysentery.


Dysentery has a reputation for being a particularly bad case of diarrhea, but that’s not a full picture of the problem. It’s diarrhea that can last for months and include bloody stools. Even when treated, it could lead to secondary infections, like hepatitis and liver abscesses. The liver degradation leads to a buildup of toxins in the blood and body.

“Soldier’s heart” or effort syndrome

Effort syndrome, also known as “soldier’s heart syndrome,” wasn’t well understood, but it was a tendency for soldiers in the Civil War and World War I to experience heart palpitations, shortness of breath, exhaustion, and cold extremities. It’s thought that the syndrome may have been caused by a previous disease, like fever, jaundice, dysentery, etc. combining with the stress and rigors of war.

Over 36,000 troops were discharged in World War I for heart ailments.

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Otzi's Burial Ritual?

In 2010, Vanzetti and colleagues argued that, despite earlier interpretations, it is possible that Otzi's remains represent an intentional, ceremonial burial. Most scholars have agreed that Otzi was the victim of an accident or a murder and that he died on the mountaintop where he was discovered.

Vanzetti and colleagues based their interpretations of Otzi as a formal burial on the placement of objects around Otzi's body, the presence of unfinished weaponry, and the mat, which they argue was a funeral shroud. Other scholars (Carancini et al and Fasolo et al) have supported that interpretation.

A gallery in the journal Antiquity, however, disagrees, stating that forensic, taphonomic and botanical evidence supports the original interpretation. See The Iceman is Not a Burial discussion for further information.

Otzi is currently on display in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology. Detailed zoom-able photographs of the Iceman have been collected in the Iceman photoscan site, assembled by the Eurac, Institute for Mummies and the Iceman.


«Historians are not judges. A historical commission is not a court of law. It is therefore not a question of indicting individuals, groups or entire countries for their actions, or, indeed, exonorating them. But it is important to focus on the question of responsibility.
A democratic state does not stand in isolation Its citizens, legislators, administrators, and decision-makers therefore occupy a position of dual responsibility, i.e., to their own country and to the international community. In the period with which we are dealing, this dual obligation was not met.» (Independent Commission of Experts Switzerland - World War II, final report, p. 521)

The international community as a whole and its representatives have failed to establish a stable order after World War I, to perceive the absolutely ruthless character of Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist Party in Germany and to take effective measures to stop him in time and last but not least when they should have accomodated Jews, Roma, Sinti and Jenisch people as refugees. Switzerland was not really an exception. As a small country surrounded by Hitler's troops, Switzerland was not free to choose what might have been right from an idealistic point of view it accomodated even more refugees than other nations with fewer problems did but it could and should have done more. Looking back we should however not fail to notice that extraordinary things cannot easily be foreseen. The international community did learn from World War II and from the Holocaust insofar as the international law was amended with
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and
The Fourth Geneva Convention

Our generation is obliged to learn from the past and to keep a sharp eye on any attempts to undermine democracy by propagating authoritarian ideologies. Special vigilance is necessary against all sorts of pretensions on "leadership" (by single nations, parties, econonomic associations etc.), against all attempts to undermine the separation of democratic powers between people, parliament, government and courts. "Checks and balances" between different groups in society and between the nations are fundamental - and the only means to prevent the concentration and the abuse of power. Switzerland's special political system of "Direct Democracy" with frequent referendums is one, but not the only instrument for doing so. Still more important than the mere existence of democratic instruments is their vigilant use by "ordinary citizens".


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