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Our history

History of GRÜNE LIGAGRÜNE LIGA (transl. = green league) - network of ecological movements – was inspired and founded around the time of the fall of the Berlin wall. However, many of its members were already actively involved in environmental protection during the GDR as members of the church, of the Cultural Association of the GDR as well as with independent groups. During that time a lot of urgent environmental issues were faced: waste imports, a lignite-dependent energy economy and polluted waters.

One of our key demands at that time: full disclosure of environmental data. However, active environmental commitment was always eyed with suspicion by those in power, and attempts were made to channel it, for example with the founding of the Society for Nature and the Environment (GNU) in 1980. Independent nationwide activities were strongly objected; but in the end could no longer be withheld.In April 1989, representatives of groups working on urban ecology and similar groups of the GNU met in Potsdam to create a GDR-wide network as well as project groups on environmental topics. On October 7th, 1989, the 40th anniversary of the GDR, a follow-up meeting organized by the Working Group for Environmental Protection and Urban Design (ARGUS) with 26 representatives from urban ecology groups was held in Potsdam to foster closer cooperation in the future. The following day, a joint declaration of intent by all urban ecology groups was adopted.


At the same time church groups discussed how the environmental movement in the GDR should organize itself after its collapse and transformation. They agreed that an association outside of governmental structures was necessary. In the months that followed, events came fast: On November 18th, 1989, the founding appeal for a "Grüne Liga" was drafted, which stated, among other things: "The knowledge of the gravity and the urgency of the global and local ecological problems has brought us together. Each and every one of us is driven by an inner calling to take responsibility and action to find solutions to these seemingly insoluble environmental issues of the GDR. Only in a joint effort we can tackle these challenges. Regardless of different experiences and world views, we want to unite forces for environmentally conscious action. We therefor call for the foundation of a "Green League". It shall be the umbrella under which we unite to save nature as a source of life, a think tank for alternative ideas and utopias and for overcoming the lack of environmental action within this society ...".At the end of November 1989, during the 6th Berlin Ecology Seminar, about 150 representatives of groups met to prepare the foundation of GRÜNE LIGA. After further preparatory discussions, the network of ecological movements, GRÜNE LIGA, was officially founded on February 3rd, 1990 in Buna near Halle/Bitterfeld. GRÜNE LIGA quickly became known in the GDR and was given a seat and a vote at the Central Round Table in Berlin. Its chairman, Klaus Schlüter, was appointed by Hans Modrow to the "government of national responsibility" as minister. Quickly after, several regional offices and a federal office were established to better coordinate its work.Since then, numerous regional, national and transnational projects and campaigns have been launched for a "greening of society". The topics are manifold: keeping water, soil and air clean, reducing traffic, fostering environmentally friendly tourism, environmental education and consultation, waste avoidance, sustainable management, organic farming and healthy nutrition, land maintenance and species conservation. GRÜNE LIGA always approaches projects with a paradigm of the easterm states of Germany and their problems and opportunities and has stayed true to its founding ideas - GRÜNE LIGA has developed its own profile and found a distinct position among other nature conservation associations.In the course of the past years, regional offices of the GRÜNEN LIGA were founded in all five eastern states of Germany. These regional offices and their members form the supporting pillars of the association and are building blocks for nationwide activities innervated by their local work. Today, work on federal conservation policies is primarily carried out by expert working groups on specific topics. The federal office complements their work through internal and external coordination and communication.In March 1994, in addition to a revised statute the general principles of the GRÜNE LIGA as well as principles on various topics, such as water, transport, etc. were adopted by the delegates of the federal council, which were supplemented by the energy principles in 1995. These decisions laid the foundation for GRÜNE LIGA’s political work for environmental protection today.

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