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Focus on...GreenpeaceWe take a look at one of the world's most well-known organisations on its 40th anniversary.
In this Focus On...series of articles, we're be taking a look at many organisations and charities, large and small, and this time we're focussing on one of the largest - Greenpeace. We have all heard of it and know roughly what they do but, as it celebrates its 40th year, we thought we'd have an in-depth look at the campaigning giant.
What is it?
Greenpeace is a non-governmental organisation with a stated goal to 'ensure the ability of the Earth to nurture life in all its diversity'. It campaigns for worldwide issues such as overfishing, global warming, deforestation, commercial whaling and anti-nuclear issues.
Who is it for?
We're pretty sure Greenpeace would argue that they are for everyone. Their overarching image is one of a company concerned about the environment, and the effect us humans are having on it. They state on their website: 'The underlying goal of all our work is a green and peaceful world - an earth that is ecologically healthy and able to nurture life in all its diversity.'
What do they do?
This is one of the things that really sets Greenpeace apart from the rest. Many people 'campaign' against certain things, but Greenpeace are known for really making a fuss. Beyond petitions or waving placards outside government buildings, Greenpeace tend to do things a little bigger - they have a fleet of ships that they take out onto the worlds oceans to actively protest against, amongst other things, nuclear testing and whale hunting, and are known for staging visible and daring protests to gain public attention and disrupt the actions of those they are protesting against.
It was on a boat, in fact, that Greenpeace was first born - a group of Canadian activists set out to the site of some proposed nuclear testing in September 1971 on a boat named Greenpeace. The group adopted the name following that mission.
How can I get involved?
Although not actually a charity (their actions are deemed too politically-oriented to be in keeping with those of a charity), Greenpeace encourages donations and fundraising in much the same way a charity does. You can also donate your time - they are especially keen for experienced sailors to help man their boats - and you can even help them build the new Rainbow Warrior; their most famous ship. Through their website, you can 'shop' for items for the ship, with your name appearing as a contributor on the website and, once it's finished, the ship itself.
Image copyright: Cobbing/Greenpeace