The EARTH COUNCIL GENEVA (ECG) was founded as an independent organization in 2002 by Reto Braun, with the mission to increase the awareness of the environmental issues worldwide, in line with the original idea of our now deceased Honorary Board Member Maurice Strong, who coined the Earth Council idea at the Rio summit. The ECG Board of Directors, accepting that the environmental problems are a top priority, decided to combine this important issue with the event of the evolving power of the internet. This allowed ECG, at that time, to create highly focused courses by developing content from various institutions like the United Nations, the world’s leading universities and governments, formatting this content into interactive, blended e-learning courses offered worldwide through a simple but highly effective internet platform. In total, 22 courses were developed and brought to market, partly free or at low cost, to a worldwide audience with access through the internet. Over 8000 learners from governments, business and academic communities, media and NGO organizations in 82 countries have logged on to take advantage of courses on topics such as Climate Change, Global Trade, Sustainable Development, Biodiversity, Desertification and Deforestation. Courses were offered predominantly in English, some translated in Spanish and in Chinese.
The Swiss Government, in particular the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (DEZA) has generously provided financial support to the Earth council Geneva during its start-up phase.
With the dramatic increase in awareness concerning environmental issues, including Al Gore’s „An inconvenient Truth“, efforts by the United Nations, the press, the Earth Council Geneva, as well as the evolution of the internet communication in general, ECG has decided to change its course to be more action oriented. We decided to help implement initiatives to improve situations where mostly needed – in particular providing sustainable emergency health care focusing on water sanitation. ECG has taken the initiative for a clean-up and fresh water project in Alaska. To strengthen the implementation and its impact, ECG has formed a partnership with the International Medical Corps, (IMC) a global, humanitarian non-profit organization based in Los Angeles, California. With over 4800 members – mostly volunteers – IMC is dedicated to saving lives and to relief suffering through health care training with sustainable development programs throughout the world. Examples of this partnership are combined efforts listed under the „Projects“, from Haiti to Pakistan and the Philippines, as well as in Middle East countries and Africa.
Additional advantages of the combination of ECG and IMC are for donors in Switzerland to be able to give support through ECG-Geneva, thus providing certain tax-advantages in Switzerland, and, IMC offers US-citizens the tax advantages according to the US laws and regulations.
Funds raised through ECG go towards planned and agreed upon projects. No admin costs are charged to ECG and no Board Member fees are paid.