Greenpeace is a non-profit organisation, with a presence in 40 countries across Europe, the Americas , Asia and the Pacific. To maintain its independence, Greenpeace does not accept donations from governments or corporations but relies on contributions from individual supporters and foundation grants.
As a global organisation, Greenpeace focuses on the most crucial worldwide threats to our planet’s biodiversity and environment. It campaigns to: stop climate change, protect ancient forests, save the oceans, stop whaling, say no to genetic engineering, stop the nuclear threat, eliminate toxic chemicals, and encourage sustainable trade.
Greenpeace has been campaigning against environmental degradation since 1971 when a small boat of volunteers and journalists sailed into Amchitka, an area north of Alaska where the US Government was conducting underground nuclear tests. This tradition of ‘bearing witness’ in a non-violent manner continues today, and our ships are an important part of all our campaign work.
Greenpeace exposes environmental criminals, challenges government and corporations when they fail to live up to their mandate to safeguard our environment and our future. It uses research, lobbying, and quiet diplomacy to pursue our goals, as well as high-profile, non-violent conflict to raise the level and quality of public debate.
Greenpeace takes the name of its flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, from a North American Cree Indian legend. The legend has it that the humanity’s greed had made the Earth sick. At that time, a tribe of people known as the Warriors of the Rainbow would rise up to defend her. As one of the longest banners we’ve ever made summed things up, “When the last tree is cut, the last river poisoned, and the last fish dead, we will discover that we can’t eat money…”
In 1971, motivated by their vision of a green and peaceful world, a small team of activists set sail from Vancouver , Canada , in an old fishing boat. These activists, the founders of Greenpeace, believed a few individuals could make a difference. Their mission was to “bear witness” to US underground nuclear testing at Amchitka, a tiny island off the West Coast of Alaska, which is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone regions. Amchitka was the last refuge for 3000 endangered sea otters, and home to bald eagles, peregrine falcons and other wildlife. Even though their old boat, the Phyllis Cormack, was intercepted before it got to Amchitka , the journey sparked a flurry of public interest.
The US still detonated the bomb, but the voice of reason had been heard. Nuclear testing on Amchitka ended that same year, and the island was later declared a bird sanctuary.
Today, Greenpeace is an international organisation that prioritises global environmental campaigns.
Based in Amsterdam , the Netherlands , Greenpeace has 2.8 million supporters worldwide, and national as well as regional offices in 39 countries.