Kumi Naidoo
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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.

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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

Climate Action -- Who Is Stopping Us?

(15) 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.

(3) 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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Apple's New Green Manifesto: Renewable Energy Is Ready to Become Mainstream

(3) Comments | Posted April 28, 2014 | 10:52 AM

With the launch of Apple's new environmental initiative, the world is once again buzzing with comments, critique and speculation on what the world's biggest brand is doing. Apple's bold move is an impetus for the private sector to move in the same direction. Renewable energy is ready to...

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There Are No Human Rights on a Dead Planet

(4) Comments | Posted April 15, 2014 | 9:05 AM

Today I spoke at the International Association of Democratic Lawyers congress in Brussels. In the audience there were over 500 hundred progressive lawyers from over 50 countries. Many of these lawyers focus on human rights issues. I called on the lawyers attending the congress to join me in...

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How the Tech Industry Can Help Save the Climate

(8) Comments | Posted April 4, 2014 | 1:14 PM

Connecting people across continents. Delivering breaking news. Enabling government transparency. Facilitating social revolutions. Stopping global warming?

The Internet is capable of doing so much, but perhaps the idea that it can help rescue the planet from runaway global warming comes as a surprise to you.

Every time we post...

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Brazil, and the World, Ought to Invest in Ecological Farming

(3) Comments | Posted March 27, 2014 | 8:58 AM

On Tuesday I joined a panel at the Global Agribusiness Forum in São Paolo (Brazil) to talk about the impacts of climate change on agriculture and food production.

You might be surprised that Greenpeace was at an agribusiness conference. The room was full of agri-business people, who are...

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Don't Bet on Coal and Oil Growth

(149) Comments | Posted January 24, 2014 | 6:49 AM

A mind-boggling sum of about $800 for each person on the planet is invested into fossil fuel companies through the global capital markets alone. That's roughly 10 percent of the total capital invested in listed companies. The amount of money invested into the 200 biggest fossil fuel companies through financial...

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Davos: The Shifting Nature of Power and the Shifting Power of Nature

(2) Comments | Posted January 22, 2014 | 9:31 AM

One of the most challenging weeks of my working life starts today: the week of the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.

Over 2,500 Presidents, Prime Minsters, CEOs, Celebrities and Academics with a smattering of civil society, will be holed up in...

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Hamba Kahle, Nelson Mandela: With Our Deepest Gratitude

(4) Comments | Posted December 5, 2013 | 5:01 PM

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead." -- Nelson Mandela speaking at the 90th birthday celebration of Walter Sisulu, Walter Sisulu Hall,...

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Ranking the Climate Culprits

(4) Comments | Posted November 21, 2013 | 8:23 AM

There's a clear parallel between the behaviour of the fossil fuel giants and tobacco companies: tobacco companies went to extraordinary lengths to suppress the knowledge that smoking caused cancer, activities that eventually resulted in multi-billion dollar settlements.

Today, some fossil fuel giants engage in similar tactics to

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Do the Math: Fossil Fuel Investments Add up to Climate Chaos

(29) Comments | Posted November 1, 2013 | 2:17 PM

Co-authored with Bill McKibben

If it's wrong to wreck the planet, then it's wrong to profit from that wreckage.

We are facing a planetary emergency: Climate change threatens the world and our collective future. Business and political leaders know this yet they do nothing. Instead they continue to bet on...

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An Urgent Wake Up Call to Protect our Oceans

(5) Comments | Posted August 20, 2013 | 8:01 AM

This week, in New York, countries across the globe are meeting at UN headquarters to negotiate the next steps towards high seas protection. Unless action is taken by governments to restore and protect the health of our oceans, our oceans will be unable to sustain life on Earth.

The UN...

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L'échec de Shell dans l'Arctique donne les coudées franches à Obama

(0) Comments | Posted March 1, 2013 | 10:49 AM

Un événement inattendu est survenu mercredi soir. La compagnie pétrolière Shell a temporairement interrompu ses forages au large de l'Alaska, reconnaissant qu'il est impossible d'y agir de manière sécuritaire et laissant un an de répit aux habitants de la région.

Cette firme, qui possède l'un des pires bilans au monde...

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Shell's Arctic Failure Is Obama's Chance to Act

(54) Comments | Posted February 28, 2013 | 12:18 PM

An unexpected thing happened last night: One of the biggest oil companies in the world -- Shell -- made a big decision acknowledging that the oil industry cannot operate safely in the Arctic. A decision that means one year of relief for the people and wildlife of the Arctic.

Shell,...

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WEF 'Unlike' -- Davos-bound

(10) Comments | Posted January 21, 2013 | 6:03 PM

No one likes to be "unliked" on Facebook or elsewhere. But, every year for the last 12, I put on a brave face and go where I must -- not where I like -- where the world's most powerful people are: Davos, the World Economic Forum (WEF). Every year, I...

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An Open Letter to Barack Obama: We Are Running Out of Time

(85) Comments | Posted December 5, 2012 | 5:52 PM

Dear Mr. President,

My Name is Kumi Naidoo, I am the Executive Director of Greenpeace International, I also serve as President of the Global Campaign for Climate Action (www.tcktcktck.org) and serve as Global Ambassador of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (www.whiteband.org). But, today I...

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Cynical Old King Coal Shows Its True Colors

(19) Comments | Posted November 22, 2012 | 11:15 AM

Shocking is the only way to describe the extraordinarily cynical comments made to the Financial Times (November 4, 'Global Warming: Climate change needs action but it has a cost') by Milton Catelin, chief executive of the World Coal Association, in trying to downplay any idea that climate change...

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On the Future of America's Children or Whether Obama Will Have a Different Approach This Time Around

(4) Comments | Posted November 8, 2012 | 7:26 AM

I felt relieved when I heard Obama's victory speech this morning, and I particularly resonated with him when he spoke about the future of America's children.

"We want our children to live in an America that isn't burdened by debt, that isn't weakened by inequality, that isn't threatened by the...

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