Conservation Influencers

Greenpeace

The Netherlands

(Don’t Make a Wave Committee) Canada

According to Greenpeace, the Don’t Make a Wave Committee was formed in 1970. But this story of radical direct action really began a year later. On the 15th of September 1971, activists from the newly formed body set sail from Vancouver, Canada, in the 25-metre Phyllis-Cormack, which they renamed Greenpeace, the brand the committee then adopted for itself in 1972. The first voyage (with the ecologist Patrick Moore onboard) tried to disrupt American nuclear tests by sailing into the fallout zone near Amchitka Island, southwest Alaska. But they were turned around by the coastguard. A few years later they sailed in the same ship to harass Russian and Japanese whaling fleets. Ever since, Greenpeace has engineered numerous headline-grabbing stunts on the high seas, putting both its supporters and unwilling targets – Greenpeace activists try to board oil rig at sea – at considerable risk. 

According to its annual report, Greenpeace’s goal is to ensure the ability of Earth to nurture life in all its diversity. But its co-founder Patrick Moore, who spent nine years as President of Greenpeace Canada and seven years as Executive Director of Greenpeace International, sees it differently. In 2001, Moore described Greenpeace as ‘a band of scientific illiterates who use Gestapo tactics to silence people who wish to express their views in a civilized forum’. 

Leader

Jennifer Morgan, international executive director of Greenpeace.

Governance

According to Greenpeace, each NRO [national regional organization: Greenpeace UK, US, Greenpeace Africa etc.] consists of one or more separate legal entities and has its own board in a supervisory role; each NRO Board sends a representative (called a Trustee) to the Annual General Meeting (AGM). 

Finance

According to the Report of the International Executive Directors and Report of the Governing Board, Greenpeace International’s total turnover in 2018 was Euro 83,940, 000 of which circa Euro 80 million came from 27 NRO license holders (all of which have their own budgets too). According to an article in Risk-Monger, Greenpeace has dwindling campaign spend, spiraling fundraising costs and it’s an NGO in crisis (see Greenpeace’s Sea of Red).

About the directory

Conservation Influencers is a searchable directory of the animal activist, environmental and ecological lobby. It examines the history, mission, methodology and reputation of NGOs to assess their impact on the global conservation cause.

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Wildlife Conservation Society

In 1906, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) put an African man on display in Bronx Zoo’s Monkey House. In 1918, one of WCS’s founding fathers, Madison Grant, published Passing of the Great Race, which Adolf Hitler referred to as his ‘Bible’. Another leading creator and early leader of WCS, Henry Fairfield Osborn Sr, was also a founder of the American Eugenics Society. His son headed WCS from 1940 to 1968, overseeing a series of major initiatives in Africa. There, WCS became one of the architects of the prohibition movement, which put wildlife for consumptive use and vast regions of land out of bounds to humanity. In 2020, WCS distanced itself in public from the racist views of Grant and Henry Fairfield Osborn Sr. But it has yet to issue a critical account of the legacy of Fairfield Osborn Jr, even though he led WCS into the modern era while sharing similar politically-inspired ecological goals to his father and Grant. WCS devotes considerable financial resources to influencing outcomes at CITES. WCS’s CEO reportedly earns USD$1,320,978.

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