Green Cross International
Green Cross International (GCI) is a global independent non-profit and non-governmental environmental organisation (NGO) working to address the inter-connected global challenges of security, poverty eradication and environmental degradation through a combination of advocacy and local projects. .
It was founded by former Soviet Union President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mikhail Gorbachev in 1993, building upon the work started by the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Green Cross International has been an active player in the Rio+20 conferences.
- 1 History
- 2 Mikhail Gorbachev
- 3 Areas of Activity
- 4 Green Cross International Board of Directors
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 Bibliography
- 8 External links
In January 1990 during an address to the Global Forum on Environment and Development for Survival, President Mikhail Gorbachev (the former President of the USSR) brought up the idea for an organisation that would apply the medical emergency response model of the International Committee of the Red Cross to ecological issues and expedite solutions to environmental problems that transcend national boundaries.
Developing this idea, delegates at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro (June 1992), approached Mikhail Gorbachev urging him to create and launch such an organisation. Meanwhile, the Swiss Parliamentarian Roland Wiederkehr founded the 'World Green Cross' with the same objective. The two organisations merged in 1993 to form Green Cross International (GCI).
Green Cross International has a general consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and with UNESCO. It is also an observer organisation with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and has regular cooperation with UNEP, UN-OCHA and UN-HABITAT as well as other international organisations 
To date, Green Cross International is represented in 31 countries around the world. National offices are located in Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Côte d'Ivoire, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and the USA.
Mikhail Gorbachev – Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former President of the USSR - is the Founding President of Green Cross International, which he established in 1993 in response to the 1992 Rio Earth Summit call to create a “Red Cross for the environment”.
Areas of Activity
From advocacy programmes at national and international levels to training individuals on how to construct rainwater-harvesting systems, Green Cross provides comprehensive programmes that further the values of cooperation among all stakeholders. The human relationship with nature crosses all boundaries and transcends all ideas of class, which necessitates a solution that goes beyond good governance and good policy, and hinges on the shared responsibility for a sustainable and just future for all.
Water for Peace Programme
GCI has various water related activities seeking to prevent and resolve conflicts over natural resources. The objectives are to promote cooperation between countries that share river waters and sanitation needs of people for water. GCI focuses its programs on the nexus between security, poverty and the environment. The organization works to address these issues both at an advocacy level with key international stakeholders, campaigns and local projects to address these inter-connected challenges.
GCI has launched the following initiatives:
Right to Water and Sanitation
Green Cross supported the drive for safe-drinking water and sanitation to be recognized as a Human Right in 2010.
In August 2014, the UN Watercourses Convention entered into force following Vietnam’s ratification of the Convention.
Smart Water for Green Schools
The Smart Water for Green Schools (SWGS) project is our flagship on-the-ground activity for providing sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation to tens of thousands of people in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe, with more countries coming online in the future.
SWGS is currently providing safe drinking water to more than 70,000 people within around 70 communities in Argentina, Bolivia, China, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mexico and Ukraine.
Environmental Security and Sustainability
Weapons of mass destruction pose clear threats to the environment and people. Oil spills and toxic waste dumps are common. These toxic waste dumps can result in a variety of pollution-related diseases. The Green Cross Environmental Security and Sustainability (ESS) programme works to address these challenges with education, outreach, dialogue, assessments, and action. 20,000 nuclear weapons are stockpiled in nine countries – enough to destroy civilization. The program has managed to clean up dumped toxic chemicals, including pesticides and agricultural fertilizers, in developing countries.
The following initiatives are part of the Environmental Security and Sustainability Programme:
- Nonproliferation, arms control, disarmament 
- Weapons demilitarization 
- Pollution reduction, toxic waste cleanup 
- Environmental emergencies preparedness 
GCI seeks to attain a value and behaviour shift through initiatives such as the Earth Charter, the Earth Dialogues and the Environmental Education and Awareness Programme. The idea is to sensitise people with a positive awareness of and responsibility towards these common threats to humanity posed by poverty, insecurity and environmental destruction. Positive awareness of, and responsibility of actions and environment are important in order to promotes and secure conditions for all people to enjoy.
The following three initiatives fall under the Value Change programme:
Social and Medical (SOCMED)
The Legacy of the Cold War Programme, the Social and Medical Care Programme and Post-War Environmental Analysis are implemented worldwide to assist those affected by the environmental consequences of wars, conflicts and man-made calamities. Activities include support to children, families and communities suffering long-term socio-economic, medical and psychological stresses brought on by exposure to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and the use of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.
A number of previously implemented projects include analysis of the environmental impacts of wars and conflicts in Kuwait, the Middle East, the Balkans, Argentina, Burkina Faso, and South Asia, ensuring that environmental rehabilitation is now regularly included within the umbrella of humanitarian assistance during and following conflicts. Expertise has also been developed in the clean-up and conversion of military bases to civilian use, dealing with nuclear contamination, and the environmentally responsible destruction of conventional and chemical weapons stockpiles.
The following initiatives address GCI’s SOCMED programme:
Rising global energy demand and over-reliance on fossil fuels are the main drivers of climate change. To meet the needs of over 9 billion people by 2050, energy production must double. But to protect the climate, greenhouse gas emissions must be cut by 80%. Maintaining the same path is a recipe for environmental and humanitarian disaster.
The Smart Energy programme works to foster a secure, equitable and sustainable energy future. Advocacy and practical projects are means to promote energy conservation and accelerate the transition from a carbon-based economy to a clean and sustainable energy model accessible to all.
Elements of the Smart Energy Programme:
Green Cross International Board of Directors
The Board of Directors and the Honorary Board of Green Cross International are composed of the following members:
Board of Directors
Mikhail Gorbachev, Chairman; Alexander Likhotal, President & CEO (ex officio); Sander Mallien, Treasurer, Green Cross Switzerland President; Dominika Kulczyk, Green Cross Poland President; Jean-Michel Cousteau, President of Green Cross France & Territories; Mario Soares, Former President of Portugal; Sergey Baranovskiy, Green Cross Russia President; Martin Bäumle, Green Cross Switzerland President; Shoo Iwasaki, Green Cross Japan President; Robert S. Bucklin, Global Green USA Chairman; Ernst von Weizsäcker, Co-President of the Club of Rome; Ashok Khosla, Chairman of Development Alternatives; Taynah Reis, Green Cross Brazil President Elio Pacilio, Green Cross Italy Founder
Princess Basma bint Talal, Jordan Victor Danilov-Danilyan, Russia Prof. Istvan Lang, Hungary Dr. Rita Levi Montalcini, Italy Dr. Ruud Lubbers, Netherlands Prof. Wangari Maathai, Kenya Pat Mitchell, USA Adolf Ogi, Switzerland H. E. Javier Perez de Cuellar, Peru Robert Redford, USA Dr. Karan Singh, India Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp, Netherlands David Suzuki, Canada Dr. Monkombu M. S. Swaminathan, India Diane Meyer Simon, USA Ted Turner, USA Dr. Evgeny Velikhov, Russia Wakako Hironaka, Japan
- Chernobyl disaster
- Climate change
- Environmental protection
- Green energy
- Greenhouse effect
- Greenhouse gases
- Nuclear power
- Renewable energy
- Water crisis
- Water resources
- Water pollution
- Water scarcity
- Water scarcity in Africa
- Water security
- "Green Cross International Website".
- "Green Cross returns to Rio".
- "Our network".
- "Our history".
- "Our network".
- "Our history".
- "Water for Life and Peace".
- "Right to Water and Sanitation".
- "Water for Peace".
- "Smart Water for Green Schools".
- "Right to Water and Sanitation".
- "Smart Water for Green Schools".
- "Environmental Security and Sustainability".
- "Non-proliferation and arms control disarmament".
- "Weapons demilitarization".
- "Pollution reduction and toxic waste cleanup".
- "Environmental emergencies preparedness".
- "Value Change".
- "Environmental Education".
- "Earth Charter".
- "Earth Dialogues".
- "Social and Medical".
- "Health Care".
- "Social Care".
- "Smart Energy".
- "Renewable Energy".
- "Green Building".
- Destroying chemical weapons is hard enough – but Syria is a new challenge September 2013
- Les 10 sites les plus pollués du monde November 2013
- Expedition begins study of Uganda's shrinking Ruwenzori Glaciers January 2014
- Last of Syria’s known chemical arms are shipped abroad for destruction June 2014
- Gorbachev sees global failure to address eco-risks April 2013
- Last chance to see: Disappearing glaciers in the 'Mountains of the Moon' April 2014
- EU leaders hold emergency summit over Ukraine March 2014
- The right to water Jul. 2010
- Acqua for Life challenge raises over 43 million litres of water Jun. 2011
- Kenya: Grave danger in nuclear power April 2011
- What is more dangerous for the environment – chemical weapons or ignorance? April 2011
- Chernobyl – 25 years on April 2011
- Nations at odds on Rio+20 earth summit June 2012
- Europe’s water resources ‘under pressure’ March 2012
- L’eau une urgence humanitaire March 2012
- Environment: Gorbatchev veut faire juger crimes écologiques March 2012
- A farewell to nuclear arms October 2011
- GCI website
- Climate Change Task Force
- GCI page on Facebook
- Climate Change Task Force page on Facebook
- Smart Water for Green Schools page on Facebook
- GCI on Twitter
- Climate Change Task Force on Twitter
- GCI group on Linkedin
- GCI company page on Linkedin
- GCI on YouTube
- GCI on Flickr
- Global Green
- Green Cross Switzerland
- Green Cross Italy
- Green Cross Sweden
- Green Cross France et Territoires
- Green Cross Australia
- Mikhail Gorbachev Foundation