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What Is The Natural Resources Of Switzerland?

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Shanesubber Richardson Profile
Having an area of almost 16.000 sq miles, Switzerland is rather poor when it comes to natural resources. Oil is practically absent and the gas reserves are too insignificant to give good reason for exploitation. At their turn, mineral resources are extremely reduced; they include lime, salt and marble.

Due to the almost absent natural resources, the Swiss focus on the very limited deposits they have. Thus, they exploit gravel, sand and clay, together with the minerals that have already been mentioned. They also produce aluminium, ammonia, hydraulic cement, raw steel, and gypsum, a list which is quite relevant, considering their limited geography and geological potential.

To fight this, Switzerland’s economy concentrates on other sectors, like water, and agriculture. What they lack in mineral deposits, they compensate in water. Having a great river network, the country has developed a lot of technology to obtain energy from it. Hydropower plants produce almost double than the nuclear power plants (this is notable, considering that France, for example, produces five times more nuclear power than hydro power). As such, transports have been geared towards electric consumption, like the Swiss railway network which is completely electrified.

In agriculture, the most important Swiss natural resources are potatoes, wheat, barley, and wine. The country is also an important producer of pigs and oxen. Such activities, combined with intensive tourism and banking have made Switzerland one of the most developed countries in the world with a 0.874 HDI index in 2010.

Finally, Switzerland is a model when it comes to recycling. The lack of natural resources is counterbalanced by many recycling programs, for newspaper, cardboard, batteries, plastics, glass et al. Bottle banks placed near supermarkets help people recycle personal garbage with ease, while cans, tins, and other aluminium products can be handed over to dedicated depots. Last, but not least, in Switzerland the entire recycling process is free.

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