Our Story

in retrospect
Success Against the Aquarium
May 2019

Success Against the Aquarium “Ozeanium” in Basel

On 19 May 2019, 54.56% of the Basel electorate voted against the large marine aquarium planned by the Zoo Basel on the Heuwaage. This vote was based on sound judgement and moral progress. The people of Basel have delivered a strong message to the global community: “We must protect the oceans where they are.”

First ZOOXXI in Barcelona
May 2019

First ZOOXXI in Barcelona

The aim of the project ZOOXXI is to bring zoos around the world in line with contemporary, ethical standards and to respond to the increasing threats to animal species worldwide. On 3 May 2019, the Barcelona City Council decided by a large majority (26 votes to 12) that the Barcelona Zoo would be the first zoo in the world to implement this model designed by Fondation Franz Weber.

Ban on Seal Products in Switzerland
April 2017

Ban on Seal Products in Switzerland

As of 1 April 2017, an import ban on seal products was finally introduced in Switzerland. Years of persistence by Fondation Franz Weber is paying off.

Founding the Sanctuary Equidad in Argentina
August 2013

Founding the Sanctuary Equidad in Argentina

At the newly established Sanctuary Equidad, the foundation takes in freed rubbish-collection horses, provides them with medical care, looks after them and gives them a new life in peace and dignity.

Success of the Second Home Initiative and Handover to Vera Weber
March 2012

Success of the Second Home Initiative and Handover to Vera Weber

In 2006, Franz Weber launched 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.

Abolition of Bullfighting in Catalonia, Spain
July 2010

Abolition of Bullfighting in Catalonia, Spain

On 28 July 2010, Catalans voted clearly in favour of a ban on bullfighting. Bullfighting in Catalonia will be abolished as of 1 January 2012!

Protector of Natural Habitats
March 2009

Protector of Natural Habitats

“God sleeps in stones, dreams in plants, awakes in animals, takes conscience in men”, is the beginning of the book “An Hour with Creation”, Franz Weber’s last publication (2009). With this Native-American quote, the author recalls not only Emmanuel Kant’s categorical imperative, which says every human should act only according to principles that he wishes to become a universal law.

From death trap to quiet zone: Col de l'Escrinet
March 2001

From Death Trap to Quiet Zone: Col de l’Escrinet

In 2001, Fondation Franz Weber acquired the Col de l’Escrinet (Escrinet pass) in the Ardèche region of southern France, in order to put a stop to the senseless hunting of migratory birds.

Franz Weber Territory – Wild Horse Sanctuary in Australia
November 1989

Franz Weber Territory – Wild Horse Sanctuary in Australia

Fondation Franz Weber establishes a wild horse sanctuary spanning over 500 square kilometres to save Australia’s brumbies from being brutally shot.

FFW Gains Observer Status at the UN Convention CITES
July 1989

FFW Gains Observer Status at the UN Convention CITES

Although CITES is not an ideal convention; it has established a control and licensing system that effectively regulates international trade in species of flora and fauna. For this reason, Fondation Franz Weber has been operating within this system as observer of the UN convention CITES since 1989.

Savior of Danube alluvial forest
December 1984

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. Konrad Lorenz, zoologist and specialist of animal behavior, supported him.


Savior of Giessbach
January 1983

Savior of Giessbach

With an unprecedented fundraising campaign “Giessbach dem Schweizervolk” (Giessbach for the Swiss People) Franz Weber saved the historic Grandhotel Giessbach above Lake Brienz, which was to be demolished. He initiated a change in thinking about the preservation of historic hotels.

Against ivory trading
June 1980

Against Ivory Trade

For 40 years, Franz Weber used to actively fight for the survival of African elephants and the complete prohibition of ivory trade.

Delphi’s savior
November 1978

Savior of Delphi

Twice – 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.

Lavaux EN
July 1977

Saving Lavaux

Winemakers of the Swiss canton Vaud call Franz Weber for help. A 270-metre-long row of 18-metre-high houses threatens to disfigure the town Aaron-Villette on Lake Geneva and to destroy prime vineyard land.

Protection of seals
July 1976

Protection of Seals

In 1976-77, Franz Weber mobilized the world media against the annual massacre of baby seals in the Canadian pack ice. He is supported by Brigitte Bardot, whom he knows very well from his years as a journalist in Paris.

Fight Against the Destruction of Landscapes by Highways
June 1972

Fight Against the Destruction of Landscapes by Highways

At the beginning of the 1970s, Franz Weber was called upon from all corners of Switzerland to save the landscape from destructive highway sections. He targeted planned Swiss highway routes or those already under construction.


Les Baux-de-Provence EN
June 1971

Les Baux-de-Provence

Saving Surlej made Franz Weber an international celebrity. He was called upon to help from all corners of the world. This was also the case for the protection of the Baux-de-Provence in the south of France.

Franz Weber's Awakening Experience and Hour of Destiny
April 1965

Franz Weber’s Awakening Experience and Hour of Destiny

On his way back from a trip to Italy, Franz Weber did a stopover in the Engadine and heard about the construction plans in Surlej near Silvaplana. The dreamy village with about 30 souls is to be transformed into a town with 25,000 inhabitants.



Poet and journalist in Paris
January 1949

Poet and Journalist in Paris

From 1949 Franz Weber lived in Paris as a poet and writer. He writes powerful poems and short stories, becomes co-founder and editor of the literary magazine “La voix des poètes” (“The voice of poets”) and writes remarkable interviews and portraits for German and Swiss magazines and newspapers.

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