Success of the Second Home Initiative and handover to his daughter Vera Weber
Franz Weber launched in 2006 the federal popular initiative against the excessive construction of second homes, in order to force the communes by law to limit their second homes to 20 per cent of construction volume. The acceptance of the initiative, six years later by the Swiss people in the majority of cantons, constitutes the biggest political success of Weber in Switzerland.
Defender of natural environments
“God sleeps in the stone, dreams in the plant, awakes in the animal, takes conscience in men”, we can read at the beginning of the book “An Hour with Creation”, Franz Weber’s last publication (2009). With this Indian proverb, the author remembers the categorical imperative from Emmanuel Kant, which says we must only act under the principles that we wish to become a universal law.
Savior of Danube alluvial forest
1983-84 Franz Weber fought to save the alluvial forest from Danube to Hainburg, close to Vienna. The Austrian government wanted to destroy it to build a gigantic hydraulic station. Franz Weber alerts the international public. Also Konrad Lorenz, zoologist and specialist of animal behavior, supported him.
Savior of Giessbach
At the beginning of the 80s, Franz Weber campaign titled “Giessbach for the Swiss people” has the goal of saving the historical Grandhotel Giessbach that dominated the Lake of Brienz and was under threat of demolition. This campaign is described as “a project never before seen”.
Against ivory trading
Franz Weber has fought actively during 40 years for the survival of African elephants and the complete prohibition of ivory trading.
Two times (in 1978 and 1986) as the result of great international actions, Franz Weber was able to save the Greek site of Delphi from enormous industrialization projects.
It was now the turn of Vaud winemakers to call Franz Weber for help. A line of 270 meters of buildings, 18 meters high, threatened to disfigure Aran-Villette, at the edge of Lake Leman and destroy its best vineyards.
Protection of seals
In 1977 Franz Weber mobilized the media around the world against the massacres committed to baby seals, perpetrated on Canadian sea ice. He has the support of Brigitte Bardot, whom he knows from his years as a journalist in Paris.
A fight against the destruction of the landscape by highway projects
At the beginning of 1970, Franz Weber was called from all corners in Switzerland to save the landscape from new destructive highway segments. He put under his line of sight the trace of planned Swiss highway routes or that were already in construction.
Saving Surlej made Franz Weber a worldwide celebrity. They called for his help from all corners, especially for protecting Les Baux-de-Provence, at the South of France.
Awareness and turning point for Franz Weber
At his return from an Italian trip, Franz Weber made a stop at Engadine. He was informed about a construction project at Surlej, close to Silvaplana. The village of 30 souls at the heart of idyllic landscapes, according to the project, should be transformed into a 25,000 inhabitants city. During the sleepless following night, Franz Weber transformed from journalist to an environmental defender.
Poet and journalist in Paris
Since 1949 Franz Weber lived as a poet and writer in Paris. He wrote poetry and news with vibrant eloquence, along Simone Chevalier, French poet, he created the literary magazine “The voice of the poets”, and wrote remarkable interviews and portraits for German and Swiss magazines and newspapers.