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Kumi Naidoo
Kumi Naidoo became Greenpeace International Executive Director on November 15, 2009.

Kumi Naidoo has worked closely with Greenpeace for a number of years. He was involved in the development of Greenpeace’s work in Africa and became a board member of Greenpeace Africa when it opened offices in Johannesburg and Kinshasa in 2008. More recently, he served as Chair of the civil society alliance ‘Global Campaign for Climate Action’ (GCCA), of which Greenpeace was a founding member.

Born in South Africa, Kumi became involved in the country’s liberation struggle at the age of 15. As a result of his anti-apartheid activities, he was expelled from high school. He was very involved in neighbourhood organisation, youth work in his community, and mass mobilisations against the apartheid regime. In 1986, Kumi was arrested and charged for violating the state of emergency regulations. He went underground for one year before finally deciding to live in exile in England. During this time he was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford and earned a doctorate in political sociology.

After Nelson Mandela’s release in 1990, Kumi returned to South Africa to work on the legalisation of the African National Congress. During the democratic elections in 1994 he was the official spokesperson of the Independent Electoral Commission and directed the training of all electoral staff in the country.

Kumi became the founding executive director of the South African National NGO Coalition (SANGOCO), an umbrella agency for the South African NGO community. Moved by the fact that South Africa has one of the highest rates of violence against women, Kumi organised the National Men's March Against Violence on Women and Children in 1997.

From 1998 to 2008, Kumi was the Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer of CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, which is dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society throughout the world. He was also the founding Chair of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) and also served as a board member of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development. In 2003 Kumi was appointed by the former Secretary General of the United Nations to the Eminent Persons Panel on UN Civil Society Relations.

Kumi Naidoo est directeur général de Greenpeace International depuis le 15 novembre 2009.

Kumi Naidoo a travaillé étroitement en collaboration avec Greenpeace pendant de nombreuses années avant d’occuper le poste de directeur général à l’international. Il a notamment été très impliqué dans le développement de l’antenne africaine de l’organisation avant de devenir membre du conseil du bureau Greenpeace Afrique. Plus récemment, il a présidé la campagne internationale action climat de l'alliance de la société civile (CIAC), dont Greenpeace est un membre fondateur.

Né en Afrique du Sud, Kumi s'est impliqué dans la lutte pour la libération de son pays dès l'âge de 15 ans. En raison de ses activités anti-apartheid, il a été expulsé de son école secondaire. Kumi Naidoo était alors engagé dans les organisations de son quartier, sa communauté, et dans les mobilisations de masse contre le régime d'apartheid. En 1986, Kumi a été arrêté et inculpé de violation de l'état d'urgence. Dès lors, il entra en clandestinité pendant un an avant de prendre la décision de s'exiler en Angleterre. Il a ensuite étudié à Oxford où il a obtenu un doctorat en sociologie politique.

Entries by Kumi Naidoo

A system that serves the 1% must be opposed

(1) Comments | Posted June 23, 2016 | 10:54 PM

Inequality is not a new injustice. It is a painful, daily reality for so many people across the globe in all its forms. For generations the powerful few have rigged political and economic systems to seize yet more power, whilst actively oppressing and dis-empowering the many. And this generation is...

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Why Africa Needs a Strong Community of Activists

(0) Comments | Posted April 26, 2016 | 11:59 AM

For the last ten years we have been told an 'Africa rising' story in which continued economic growth is offered as the only measure of progress that seems to matter. It is a woefully inadequate way to understand the health of our societies at a time when we still face...

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An Open Letter to Prime Minister Modi

(5) Comments | Posted December 7, 2015 | 1:58 PM

Dear Prime Minister Modi,

I write to you from Paris to express my solidarity as India faces devastating floods in Chennai. I am an African, but my ancestors hailed from the region that is suffering. My thoughts - and the thoughts of the organization I lead --...

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Exxon Set to Be Investigated in the Philippines as Well as New York

(0) Comments | Posted November 9, 2015 | 7:10 AM

A few weeks ago the first ever human rights legal action seeking the accountability of the 50 big polluters was launched. Filed by Filipino typhoon survivors and several environmental organisations, it demands that the Philippines Human Rights Commission (CHR) investigate and acknowledge the complicity of 50 investor-owned fossil fuel...

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This Week Brought #ActionsforClimate -- But Still Not Enough

(8) Comments | Posted September 27, 2015 | 8:17 PM

The last few days have, for once, seen world leaders and the global media focused on the big issues of our time: poverty, inequality and the dangers of climate change. President Obama admitted he acted too late on climate change and agreed with China's President Xi Jinping on...

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Honoring Courage and Compassion: Peace Day 2015

(0) Comments | Posted September 20, 2015 | 9:12 PM

I was 22 years old when I had to leave my homeland, South Africa. I had no choice. I was living underground for a year by then, to avoid being arrested. This was 1987, in the midst of one of the most bloody and violent periods in the history of...

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Descontrol en la pesca del atún del Pacífico

(1) Comments | Posted August 22, 2015 | 4:09 AM

A Taiwanese longline fishing vessel, just one of thousands of tuna boats fishing the Pacific Ocean. © Greenpeace / Paul Hilton
Un buque de pesca con...

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Pacific Tuna Fishing Is Out of Control

(5) Comments | Posted August 3, 2015 | 10:42 AM

A Taiwanese longline fishing vessel, just one of thousands of tuna boats fishing the Pacific Ocean. © Greenpeace / Paul Hilton
A Taiwanese longline fishing vessel,...

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Solarizing Greece Is a Way Out of the Crisis

(14) Comments | Posted July 30, 2015 | 10:11 AM

Greece is facing a depression on a scale arguably comparable to the U.S. Great Depression of the late 1920s. Huge unemployment rates and a dramatic drop in family incomes of over 40 percent have Greek citizens pondering what the impacts will be of the new bail-out agreement. Unending austerity...

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The Unstoppable Power of Contagious Courage

(5) Comments | Posted July 9, 2015 | 3:27 PM

Rainbow Warrior Near the Queensland Coast. 14 Apr, 2013 © Tom Jefferson / Greenpeace

Thirty years ago, groups of individuals in New Zealand were preparing to leave their families, their jobs and...

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Securing a Better Future for the Oceans and for People

(13) Comments | Posted June 8, 2015 | 7:12 AM

Mamadou Sarr is a 54-year old Senegalese artisanal fisherman who has been working at sea for more than 36 years. He entered the profession out of his love for fishing and the ocean, and has been supporting a family of eight with his daily catches.

Greenpeace met him at...

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Renewable Energy for All: How an Indian Village Was Electrified

(8) Comments | Posted April 23, 2015 | 11:55 AM

Let's accept it. Climate change is a reality and current and future generations are up against the greatest challenge that humanity has ever faced. Yet some people believe that there is a trade-off between combating climate change and delivering development for the people. Around this year's Earth Day, it is...

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Is This a Blip or a Tip in Humanity's Onslaught on the Climate?

(38) Comments | Posted March 18, 2015 | 9:51 AM

Reports that the growth in carbon pollution paused last year should give heart to climate campaigners and clean energy investors around the world. The figures, from the International Energy Agency, no less, will come as a cold shower to those who still believe that burning fossil fuels is...

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Our Addiction to Fossil Fuel Is Taking Us on the Road to Nowhere

(33) Comments | Posted February 10, 2015 | 8:52 AM

On Saturday I joined a panel at the Munich Security Conference in Germany and talked about global security and energy security. You might be surprised to see Greenpeace at a security conference. The room was full of members of the "strategic community", people who are not the crowd...

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Nature Does Not Negotiate: Climate Catastrophe Is With Us Now!

(31) Comments | Posted December 7, 2014 | 12:17 PM

As Typhoon Hagupit hits the Philippines, one of the biggest peace time evacuations in history has been launched to prevent a repeat of the massive loss of life which devastated communities when Super Typhoon Haiyan hit the same area just over a year ago.

"One of the biggest evacuations in...

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Forests Need Laws, Not Loopholes

(6) Comments | Posted September 25, 2014 | 9:02 AM

Sitting in the towering United Nation's building on New York's east side, it might be hard for world leaders to picture a destroyed forest, but I know just how depressing the site is. In Indonesia, and elsewhere, we've seen vast tracks of land where only the dried-up stumps remain of...

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Climate Action -- Who Is Stopping Us?

(75) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 9:15 AM

The world has changed since our leaders discussed climate change in 2009. It has become even more evident; ravaging crops in Africa, melting ice in the Arctic, drowning the Philippines and drying-up California. The poor are paying the highest price. But ever since super storm Sandy hit New York, even...

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Exceptional Times Require Exceptional Leaders. We Won't Take No for an Answer.

(8) Comments | Posted September 22, 2014 | 11:43 AM

The Arctic, perhaps more than any other place on Earth right now, is a climate front line. Our common future as a civilization is tied to the future of this region, because what happens in the Arctic doesn't stay in the Arctic.

As world leaders prepare for the long-awaited

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인류 공동의 바다를 지킵시다!

(0) Comments | Posted June 8, 2014 | 10:54 AM

6월 8일은 세계 바다의 날입니다. 육지에 국경이 존재하듯이 바다에도 영해를 나누는 보이지 않는 선이 있습니다. 우리가 알고 있는 배타적 경제수역(EEZ)이 그 예로, 유엔 해양법 협약은 연안기선으로부터 200해리(370.4km)내의 모든 생물, 비생물 자원에 대한 각 국가의 경제적 권리를 인정합니다. 그 영해에 포함되지 않는 바다는 공해(公海·High seas)라고 불리는 인류 공동의 바다입니다. 그러므로...

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Dear John, We Need to Talk: Will You Commit to Our Oceans' Future?

(1) Comments | Posted May 27, 2014 | 9:18 PM

Dear John,

It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter. I know you share both my love for the oceans and the deep concern that our oceans are in trouble. But while we seem to be in full agreement about the need for urgent action to...

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