Switzerland is a landlocked country at the confluence of Western, Central and Southern Europe. Switzerland is bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. It is geographically divided among the Swiss Plateau, the Alps and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2 and land area of 39,997 km2, Although the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8.5 million is concentrated mostly on the plateau.
Switzerland contains two terrestrial ecoregions: Western European broadleaf forests and Alps conifer and mixed forests.
Switzerland's ecosystems can be particularly fragile, because the many delicate valleys separated by high mountains often form unique ecologies. The mountainous regions themselves are also vulnerable, with a rich range of plants not found at other altitudes, and experience some pressure from visitors and grazing. The climatic, geological and topographical conditions of the alpine region make for a very fragile ecosystem that is particularly sensitive to climate change. Nevertheless, according to the 2014 Environmental Performance Index, Switzerland ranks first among 132 nations in safeguarding the environment, due to its high scores on environmental public health, its heavy reliance on renewable sources of energy, and its control of greenhouse gas emissions. In 2020 it was ranked third out of 180 countries.
However, access to biocapacity in Switzerland is far lower than world average. In 2016, Switzerland had 1.0 global hectares of biocapacity per person within its territory, 40 percent less than world average of 1.6 global hectares per person. In contrast, in 2016, they used 4.6 global hectares of biocapacity – their ecological footprint of consumption. This means they used about 4.6 times as much biocapacity as Switzerland contains. The remainder comes from imports and overusing the global commons, As a result, Switzerland is running a biocapacity deficit. Switzerlandhad a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 3.53/10, ranking it 150th globally out of 172 countries.