SAG – Swiss Alliance GMO-free
The SAG – Swiss Alliance GMO-free is a platform of discussion, information and action for organisations and individual members who have critical views on genetic engineering. It is the umbrella organisation for a total of 25 Swiss associations from the fields of environment, nature conservation, animal protection, medicine, development cooperation, organic farming and consumer protection.
EcoSolidar has been associated with the Swiss Working Group on Genetic Engineering since its beginnings in 1990 and we have supported the Swiss Alliance GMO-free SAG for many years with a membership. In our projects, e.g. in Africa, we see what genetically modified seeds mean for smallholder families, namely high costs for fertilisers and pesticides and the risk of the soil becoming infertile. In Switzerland, too, we stand for protection against genetically modified products.
Social Economy Association Basel – NetzBon
The Social Economy Association Basel develops life-securing, integrated and grassroots democracy-based forms of economy, work and living at local and regional level. It promotes local markets with the credo: “local work for local people using local resources” and is guided by the principles of ecology and sustainability.
EcoSolidar is a member and supports the alternative payment method NetzBon, which has been used as an alternative currency in the region of Basel since 2005. The members of NetzBon, i.e. shops and companies from very different areas in the region of Basel, accept NetzBon as payment and can use it themselves. We find this idea worthy of support since, on the one hand, a local solidary network is being created and, on the other hand, money in the form of the NetzBon works directly and is independent of the monetary economy.
MultiWatch is a broad coalition of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), trade unions, parties and organisations of the anti-globalisation movement. MultiWatch was founded in March 2005 with the aim of monitoring multinational corporations based in Switzerland, documenting and reporting on human rights violations committed by them and supporting the struggle for justice of the people who are affected.
We have been supporting MultiWatch because we are convinced that multinational corporations must respect human rights and be held accountable for human rights violations. We are aware of such violations in our project work when, for example, mines of large corporations contaminate rivers in Peru and people no longer have clean drinking water. Or when multinational corporations in Cambodia take away indigenous land for their rubber plantations, land which for the indigenous people is both a source of food and a spiritual place.
Swiss Coalition for Corporate Justice SCCJ
Equally, this is what the Corporate Justice Initiative is all about: corporations headquartered in Switzerland should ensure that their operations and those of their subsidiaries respect human rights and comply with environmental standards. Violations must have consequences and corporations must be liable for any damage they cause. People who have been harmed by corporations abroad should be able to file a lawsuit in Switzerland.
We have supported this initiative with a contribution, as it aims at a concrete legal procedure to legally sanction violations of human rights by multinational corporations as documented by MultiWatch. The initiative is supposed to ensure that action can be taken against corporations committing violations to people in countries of the Global South who are not protected by their own state and have no chance of being heard in court.
Swiss Coalition Right to Seeds
The Swiss Coalition Right to Seeds is committed to ensuring that farmers in countries of the Global South do not lose control over their seeds. The diverse seed systems of farmers guarantee food security and biological diversity. This is why it is essential that rights to seeds are recognised in the long term and are not restricted or destroyed by free trade agreements.
EcoSolidar supports this request because the right to seeds is also an issue in all our organic farming projects. We know from India how great the dependence on seed companies can be and how quickly farmer families can be ruined by their dependence on buying seeds, fertilisers and toxic pesticides. In our organic farming projects in Malawi we experience what the alternative is like: Small farming families use local seeds and can achieve good yields and eat healthier food by means of home-made compost and pest-repellent plants.