The three largest Swiss cities have presented their plans for the Milan Expo 2015 pavilion, while a group of NGOs have criticised the fact that Basel-based agrochemical giant Syngenta will be a main programme sponsor.
On Tuesday, the cities of Basel, Zurich and Geneva announced plans for each of them to have a dedicated presence at the Expo’s Swiss pavilion, designed to highlight their cities‘ unique traits under the motto "innovative, sustainable, cultural and urban“.
Zurich’s six-week-long programme will focus on water quality and the role clean water plays in the city’s quality of life and innovation. Geneva will close the Expo with an exhibition by local artist Fabrice Gygi, also focused on the water cycle and nutrition.
And under the motto "Spirit of Basel", Switzerland’s third-largest city plans to present "major innovations launched in Basel that directly or indirectly changed the world,“ according to Basel city president Guy Morin.
However, a group of six organisations including SWISSAID, Bread for All and MultiWatch took issue with the fact that the Basel-based multinational company Syngenta will be the main sponsor of Basel’s programme and will be given a platform to promote its strategy for global agriculture under the Expo‘s motto of "Feeding the Planet: Energy for Life“.
The NGOs say that the presence of organisations representing organic agriculture has been unfairly pushed back to later in the Expo programme, leaving no room for dialogue between Syngenta and such groups as once promised by Morin.
swissinfo.ch and agencies