The antiquated project of the Zoo Basel not only contradicted the progressive spirit of Basel, it was also in no way compatible with the goal of a 2000-watt society, which the city is pursuing. And this is precisely why Fondation Franz Weber launched the campaign “NOzeanium – say NO to the Ozeanium!”.
Blazing a trail in the fight against the ludicrous 100-million-francs project, Foundation Franz Weber put every effort into convincing the Grand Council of Basel to oppose the construction of the “Ozeanium”. However, despite intensive work by the foundation to educate and raise awareness, on 17 October 2018 the Grand Council of Basel-City declared their support for the construction of the “Ozeanium”. Fondation Franz Weber immediately initiated a referendum against this decision. Together with environmental organisations, marine conservationists, experts, and many other motivated supporters, we were able to collect nearly 5,000 signatures within the canton’s referendum deadline and submitted these to the Basel-City State Chancellery on 28 November 2018.
On 15 December 2018, the State Chancellery published the result of the signature verification: 4,649 people had signed for a referendum against the “Ozeanium”.
Hence, it was clear: the “Ozeanium”-project was going to be put to the vote in the canton of Basel-City (see press release from 21 December 2018). On 19 May 2019, the eligible voters of Basel said NO to the “Ozeanium” by 54.56% to 45.44%.
This decision is a victory of sound judgement, moral progress and ethics. The people of Basel have delivered a strong message to the global community: “We must stand up for the oceans with real action and protect them where they are.” (see press release from 19 May 2019)