• Type Non-governmental organization• Founded 1971• Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada• Location Amsterdam, The Netherlands (International)• Key people Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director• Lalita Ramdas, Chairman• Area served Worldwide• Focus Environmentalism, peace• Method Direct action, lobbying, research, innovation• Revenue €196.6 million (2008)• Members 2.86 million (2008)• Website www.GreenPeace.org• www.GreenPeace.mobi
• Greenpeace is a non governmental environmental organization with offices in over forty countries and with an international coordinating body inAmsterdam, The Netherlands. Greenpeace states its goal is to "ensure the ability of the Earth to nurture life in all its diversity" and focuses its work on world wide issues such as global warming, deforestation, overfishing, commercial whaling and anti-nuclear issues. Greenpeace uses direct action, lobbying and research to achieve its goals.
Origins• In the late 1960s, the U.S. had plans for an underground nuclear weapon test in the tectonically unstable island of Amchitka in Alaska. Because of the 1964 Alaska earthquake, the plans raised some concerns of the test triggering earthquakes and causing a tsunami. Anti-nuclear activists protested against the test on the border of the U.S. and Canada with signs reading "Dont Make A Wave. Its Your Fault If Our Fault Goes". The protests did not stop the U.S. from detonating the bomb.• While no earthquake or tsunami followed the test, the opposition grew when the U.S. announced they would detonate a bomb five times more powerful than the first one. Among the opposers were Jim Bohlen, a veteran who had served the U.S. Navy and Irving and Dorothy Stowe, a Jewish couple, who had recently become Quakers. As members of the Sierra Club Canada, they were frustrated by the lack of action by the organization. Jim Bohlens wife Marie came up with the idea to sail to Amchitka, inspired by the anti-nuclear voyages of Albert Bigelow in 1958. The idea ended up in the press and was linked to The Sierra Club. The Sierra Club did not like this connection and in 1970 The Dont Make a Wave Committee was established for the protest. Early meetings were held in the Shaughnessy home of Robert and Bobbi Hunter. The first office was opened in a back-room, storefront on Cypress and Bwy SE corner in Kitsilano, (Vancouver) before moving to West 4th at Maple.
• There is some debate as to who are the actual founders of The Dont Make a Wave Committee. Researcher Vanessa Timmer has referred the early members as "an unlikely group of loosely organized protestors". According to the current Greenpeace web page, the founders were Dorothy and Irving Stowe, Marie and Jim Bohlen, Ben and Dorothy Metcalfe, and Robert Hunter. The book The Greenpeace Story states that the founders were Irving Stowe, Jim Bohlen and Paul Cote, a law student and peace activist. Greenpeace used to list Moore among "founders and first members" of The Dont Make a Wave Committee but has later stated that while Moore was a significant early member, he was not a founder. According to Moores own letter he applied to the already existing organization in March 1971.
• In 1972, The Dont Make a Wave committee changed their official name to Greenpeace Foundation. While the organization was founded under a different name in 1970 and was officially named Greenpeace in 1972, the organization itself dates its birth to the first protest of 1971. Greenpeace also states that "there was no single founder, and the name, idea, spirit, tactics, and internationalism of the organization all can be said to have separate lineages". As Rex Weyler put it in his chronology, Greenpeace, in 1969, Irving and Dorothy Stowes "quiet home on Courtenay Street would soon become a hub of monumental, global significance". Some of the first Greenpeace meetings were held there, and it served as the first office of the Greenpeace Foundation. After the office in the Stowe home, (and after the first concert fund-raiser) Greenpeace functions moved to other private homes before settling, in the fall of 1974, in a small office shared with the SPEC environmental group, at 2007 W. 4th Avenue, at Maple Street, across from the Bimini neighbourhood pub. The address of this office has since been changed to 2009 W. 4th Avenue. The building still exists, and the office is up the stair at the “2009” door.
• Organizational development Historian Frank Zelko has commented that "unlike Friends of the Earth, for example, which sprung fully formed from the forehead of David Brower, Greenpeace developed in a more evolutionary manner.«
• In the mid-1970s independent groups using the name Greenpeace started springing up world wide. By 1977 there were 15 to 20 Greenpeace groups around the world. At the same time the Canadian Greenpeace office was heavily in debt. Disputes between offices over fund-raising and organizational direction split the global movement as the North American offices were reluctant to be under the authority of the Vancouver office and its president Patrick Moore.
• After the incidents of Moruroa, David McTaggart had moved to France to battle in court with the French state and helped to develop the cooperation of European Greenpeace groups. David McTaggart lobbied the Canadian Greenpeace Foundation to accept a new structure which would bring the scattered Greenpeace offices under the auspices of a single global organization. The European Greenpeace paid the debt of the Canadian Greenpeace office and on October 14, 1979, Greenpeace International came into existence. Under the new structure, the local offices would contribute a percentage of their income to the international organization, which would take responsibility for setting the overall direction of the movement with each regional office having one vote. Some Greenpeace groups, namely London Greenpeace (dissolved in 2001) and the US-based Greenpeace Foundation (still operational) however decided to remain independent from Greenpeace International.
Priorities and campaigns• On its official website, Greenpeace defines its mission as the following: Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organization that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace by:• Catalysing an energy revolution to address the number one threat facing our planet: climate change.• Defending our oceans by challenging wasteful and destructive fishing, and creating a global network of marine reserves.• Protecting the world’s remaining ancient forests which are depended on by many animals, plants and people.• Working for disarmament and peace by reducing dependence on finite resources and calling for the elimination of all nuclear weapons.• Creating a toxin free future with safer alternatives to hazardous chemicals in todays products and manufacturing.• Campaigning for sustainable agriculture by encouraging socially and ecologically responsible farming practices.