Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Greenpeace has been working in Africa to end environmental destruction and fighting for the rights of Africans to a healthy environment since early 1990s with the Africa office being established in 2008.
Under the leadership of its executive director, Michael O’Brien Onyeka, Greenpeace Africa works with the people that are supporters, volunteers and activists through their donations, contributions and actions to bring solutions to the environmental issues at hand.
The Greenpeace story began in 1971 when a group of concerned citizens were outraged by the United States government’s insistence on nuclear testing on the Alaskan island of Amchitka. Today, Greenpeace operates in 40 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Pacific and Africa, with 28 independent national /regional offices funded by donations from over three million supporters. It is headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands, from where it coordinates its efforts to save the world for future generations.
Greenpeace's mission is to ensure the ability of the earth to nurture life in all its diversity. Therefore, Greenpeace seeks to protect biodiversity in all its forms – prevent pollution and abuse of the earth's ocean, land, air and fresh water. The organisation also seeks to end all nuclear threats and promote peace, global disarmament and non-violence.
Greenpeace Africa's work is based on a number of key principles. They are reflected in all the campaigns and they guide whatever Greenpeace does and wherever it is.
The organisation’s main activities include; exposing threats to the environment and finding solutions while taking caution not to create permanent allies or adversaries:
- Seek solutions for, and promoting open, informed debate about society's environmental choices; and
- To use non-violent confrontation to raise the level and quality of public debate on environmental issues and 'bearing witness' to environmental destruction in a peaceful, non-violent manner.
In all the activities mentioned, Greenpeace ensures the organisation’s financial independence from governments, corporations and other political organisations with commercial interests.
Greenpeace Africa works on different campaigns focusing on climate change, halting the destruction of tropical forests, and also on preventing the degradation of marine eco-systems.
Greenpeace Africa endeavours to stop climate change and its effects by advocating a peak in global emissions by 2015 and a steady decline thereafter. It also aims to significantly reduce Africa’s dependency on fossil fuels – particularly coal – through the adoption of an energy revolution to move us from a world powered by fossil fuels and nuclear to one running on renewable energy and ambitious government targets and timelines on energy efficiency in vehicles and appliances.
Stopping the destruction of tropical forests especially the Congo basin rain forest by calling for the zero deforestation in the world's intact tropical forests by 2020. The organisation seeks to achieve this through forests project where it makes more money to save them than destroy them. It also seeks to working towards ending the international market for illegal timber and the lobbying of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) government to get local communities involved in protecting their forests as part of an integrated national land use plan.
Greenpeace Africa calls for an end to:
- Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing;
- Elimination of destructive fishing practices to ensure sustainable levels of marine life;
- Reduction in the size and numbers of foreign fleets fishing in African waters, with increased monitoring and control of those that remain;
- A network of well enforced marine reserves across the region; and
- Sustainable fishing and fish processing operations managed and financed by Africans, providing livelihoods, food security and enabling poverty alleviation in the region and Africa's waters managed by well-funded, functioning regional oceans management organisations.
In developing the organisation’s campaign strategies and policies, Greenpeace takes great care to reflect its fundamental respect for democratic principles and to also seek solutions that will promote global social equity.
Greenpeace Africa has solar-powered all its offices across the continent. Thanks to Greenpeace Africa, trawlers plundering the Senegalese waters were denied permission to continue overfishing. This has led to sustainable fishing hence improving the livelihoods of coastal communities who have been depending on artisanal fishing for centuries. In 2012, Greenpeace Africa launched the first ever solar-powered community radio station in Oshwe in the DRC. Greenpeace Africa issued a complete moratorium on new the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifications in the Congo basin rainforest. Through the organisation’s campaigns people from Africa have become more aware of their energy choices. Greenpeace Africa has given environmental activists a forum to voice their issues on all environmental matters. Through talks and trainings Greenpeace Africa has continued to promote environmental awareness and encourage the green development on the continent for the benefit of the people, communities and the climate. Greenpeace Africa has on several occasions partnered with communities and performed clean-ups in the local environments.
The challenges faced by Greenpeace Africa today include lack of funding from governments and/or corporations, among others. The organisation relies on citizens to make its work possible hence it is always in need of more funds to sustain its campaigns. The other challenge it faces is the non-compliance by the main stakeholders on environmental regulations put in place makes its work more difficult.
To view Greenpeace Africa in the Prodder NGO Directory, click here.