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The BUND in Freiburg / Germany: The BUND in our neighbourhood

BUND Regionalverband Suedlicher Oberrhein
Friends of the Earth in Freiburg

The blue planet. We don’t have to fly to space to see how beautiful our earth is. Beautiful, sensitive and endangered. The earth needs friends. People that are willing to commit themselves to the protection of nature and environment. In Germany about 585,000 people are associated with the BUND (Bund fuer Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland). About 15,000 of these members are located in the area "Suedlicher Oberrhein" around Freiburg (between Achern and Muellheim, a distance of nearly 100 kilometers)and are supporting our association in view of urgent environmental problems by non-profit work for the rescue of our natural resources.

The BUND in our neighbourhood
Our strength lies in our widely spread network throughout the numerous little communities situated in the region. There are 36 active BUND groups in the counties "Ortenaukreis", "Emmendingen", "Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald" and Freiburg that are often colaborating with other environmental associations in France and Switzerland. Following the purposes of our regional statute many kinds of practical work are done here:
  • wild-life preservation
  • protection of birds, bats and amphibians
  • info-work on environmental issues
  • environmental education of kids and teenagers
  • official comments on environmentally hazardous plannings
  • protesting against nuclear power stations
  • preventing the abuse of genetical manipulations
  • supporting the consumer protection and the consumer counseling
  • preventing unrestained drain on land resources

To our local groups the endangered tree in the community and the last bat habitat in town are as important as the threatened whales in the oceans. Thinking globally and acting locally is our slogan. Any toad being carried across the street, any biotope protected by our actions is a success. This passion even for the tiniest of creatures distinguishes the local work of the BUND from that of other, bigger associations like Greenpeace. Another part of our work is environmental education at the BUND Oekostation. You can find a lot of information about our work (in german) on this homepage.

Environmental problems in our own backyard
Our home situated in between the river Rhine and the Black Forest is undeniably beautiful. There are still orchid meadows, rare kingfishers in the "Wyhler Rheinauen", tranquil woods. We are pleased to have our regional office in the Environmental capital ("Oekohauptstadt") Freiburg, because the BUND has helped actively to achieve this "title" for Freiburg. However, Oekohauptstadt Freiburg doesn’t mean: "Forward to ecology and future-oriented thinking". "Oekohauptstadt Freiburg" means that the world-wide destruction processes are happening here more slowly than elsewhere. But even here nature is getting pushed back: areas for the retreat of endangered species are being diminished. This is dangerous for life-quality of human beings aswell – the region "Suedlicher Oberrhein" becomes urbanized, the consumption of surface explodes. Environmental problems increase. In the neighbouring Elsass a heavy-industry zone arises along the river Rhine polluting the environment. The technical malfunctions in the 70 year old nuclear power plant "Fessenheim" are becoming more frequent and in Switzerland an ultimate nuclear waste disposal is about to be built at the High Rhine. At the European North-South arterial road we experience the problems of a society that lives above its needs and risks its own future. That has to change.

Environmental protection without social equity and without respect for the human rights can not exist. Many of the environmental problems in our region have their roots in the process of globalization. Therefore our main task is to develop and present sustainable and future-oriented development models and to realize them because unlimited growth destroys limited systems.

BUND Germany
The BUND is the German branch of Friends of the Earth. Founded in 1975 as a federation of pre-existing regional groups the BUND has its origins in the nature conservation movement. Today we are one of the most powerful environmental organisations in Germany. The 460,000 BUND members and supporters (active in about 2,200 local and regional groups) are tackling all of today´s major environmental issues. Therefore the BUND is a well recognized lobby with a high media presence and launches specific topic-based campaigns every year to promote nature protection, the practical merits of Germany´s ecological tax reform or the necessity to change the common agricultural policy. Our diverse and numerous local groups also allow us to mobilize mass support on a national level if necessary. Internationally the BUND works on climate policy and has also its own youth organisation, the BUNDjugend, which consists of young people up to the age of 25 carrying out projects and campaigns independently.
Axel Mayer

Freiburg & Environment: Ecological Capital – Environmental Capital – Solar City - Sustainable City - Green City?
More information in English (also about current projects)

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<a href="http://www.bund-rvso.de/english.html">The BUND in Freiburg / Germany: The BUND in our neighbourhood</a>

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