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who we are

Friends of the Earth International was founded in 1971 by four organizations from France, Sweden, England and the USA. Today's federation of 76 groups grew from annual meetings of environmentalists from different countries who agreed to campaign together on certain crucial issues, such as nuclear energy and whaling.

In 1981, a small International Secretariat was set up, and in 1983 an Executive Committee was elected. In 1986, the annual meeting was hosted for the first time by an organization from the South, Sahabat Alam Malaysia/Friends of the Earth Malaysia. In 1985, a European coordinating body was established with an office in Brussels, Friends of the Earth Europe; in 2001, Latin American and Caribbean groups formed their own regional coordinating body; and in 2006 Friends of the Earth groups in Africa formally established a coordinating body.

Friends of the Earth International is highly decentralized: it is made up of autonomous organizations that comply with the guidelines established by the federation. Friends of the Earth International is democratic: every two years there is a general meeting where the policies and activities of the federation are decided, and in which all members have an equal say. This Bi-annual General Meeting (BGM) elects an Executive Committee (ExCom), which meets several times per year. The ExCom employs and oversees the work of an International Secretariat in Amsterdam composed of some 25 staff and volunteers from all over the world.

There are now 76 Friends of the Earth member groups and 14 affiliates campaigning internationally, nationally and locally. They are united by the common conviction that creating environmentally and socially sustainable societies requires both strong grassroots activism and effective national and global campaigning.

who we are

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