History of Green Cross


Launched after the fall of the wall.


In 1992, on the occasion of the UN Conference in Rio, Mikhail Gorbachev demanded the foundation of what he called a «Red Cross of the Environment», in short Green Cross International, which would quickly and uncomplicatedly offer world-wide help in the event of environmental disasters. The Rio Conference adopted the proposal. At the same time MP Roland Wiederkehr founded a World Green Cross with the same objective in Switzerland. Both organisations merged in 1993 to form Green Cross International. The foundation of the first five national organisations happened only one year later, including Green Cross Switzerland, USA and Russia.


Green Cross International today forms the umbrella organisation for 30 national Green Cross organisations.


In order to effectively implement its objectives Green Cross International has focused its activities on five global programmes. Green Cross Switzerland is involved in three programmes of which the Legacy Programme, under Swiss co-ordination, is the most important.


Legacy: The global Legacy Programme aims at overcoming consequential damages caused by industrial and military disasters in Eastern Europe, the USA and Vietnam, as well as at the clean-up of contaminated military sites from the Cold War.


Water is Life: The global programme Water–Life-Peace prevents, at the highest political level, conflicts which arise from the growing scarcity of water supplies and is concerned with the preservation of this vital resource.


Earth Charter: The global Earth Charter Programme commits people to deal with our planet in a responsible manner and gives instructions for action.


Energy and Resource Efficiency: This global programme supports the reduction of energy consumption and supports technology transfer in co-operation with its partners.


Environmental Education: Green Cross integrates environmental education in all of its projects.