17 April 2014 | Geneva, Switzerland: Green Cross national organizations in seven countries are this year marking 20 years of action to promote sustainability and security, a milestone being hailed by Green Cross International, which tomorrow also celebrates its 21st anniversary.
The five original Green Cross national organizations in Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Russia, the United States as well as in the Ivory Coast and in Sweden were founded in 1994 and, since then, have promoted sustainability, security and environmental protection through scores of on-the-ground projects and advocacy campaigns.
“The work of our national organizations is what brings the Green Cross mission to life,” said Mikhail Gorbachev, who founded Green Cross International (GCI) in 1993. “The grassroots efforts of Green Cross’s national organizations to create more sustainable and secure communities has touched hundreds of thousands of people.”
GCI is an independent non-profit and non-governmental organization working globally to address the inter-connected global challenges of security, poverty eradication and environmental degradation through advocacy and local projects. GCI is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, has national offices in more than 30 countries and conducts on-the-ground projects around the world.
To gain practical traction, GCI has supported the establishment of national organizations:
- Green Cross Japan has contributed to the Value Change Programme by developing an Environmental Diary project to which more than 1 million children have participated and that has been implemented in Australia, Sri Lanka and South Korea;
- Green Cross Russia, Green Cross Switzerland and GCI’s American national organization Global Green USA, have all worked closely to support efforts to safely destroy Cold War-era chemical and nuclear weapons stockpiles and related military systems in Russia, the United States and elsewhere;
- Green Cross Russia is developing an environmentally clean and economically efficient biogas plant in Moscow;
- Green Cross Switzerland is supporting sustainability and environmental protection projects in numerous countries and providing Social and Medical care to tens of thousands of people suffering from the consequences of environmental disasters.
- GCI’s American national organization Global Green USA is implementing smart solutions to climate change by helping create more sustainable and climate-resilient neighborhoods across the US, helping residents of New Orleans install energy and water efficiency measures in their homes and businesses, turning waste into assets through innovative food packaging and food waste reduction projects in New York and California and by advancing groundbreaking energy efficiency and solar energy policies to reduce reliance on fossil fuels in Los Angeles and elsewhere.
- Green Cross Ivory Coast is involved in the Water for Life and Peace programme, providing safe-drinking water and sanitation systems in rural areas, and promotes the coming into force of the United Nations Watercourses Convention;
- Green Cross Sweden is promoting peace and security through environmental restoration and community engagement in Kenya, and, together with Green Cross Netherlands, has long been active in the development and promotion of the Earth Charter Initiative.
“As the Green Cross network enters its third decade of action for a sustainable future, we all must recognize that only through a monumental shift in values and behaviour towards the environment and our way of life will humanity be able to ensure its long-term viability and growth,” according to GCI President Alexander Likhotal. “I am proud of the work of Green Cross’s national organizations to meet these challenges.”
Photo opportunity: In Geneva, Switzerland, Green Cross flags will be flown from the landmark Pont du Mont Blanc from 14-21 April.
GCI was founded in 1993 by Nobel Peace Laureate Mikhail Gorbachev and is an independent non-profit and nongovernmental organization advocating and working globally to address the inter-connected global challenges of security, poverty eradication and environmental degradation through advocacy and local projects. GCI is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and conducts on-the-ground projects in more than 30 countries around the world.