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Today Friends of the Earth International, the world’s largest global grassroots federation of environmental groups, marks its 40th anniversary. Throughout the year we will celebrate, together with our member groups and supporters, all that we have achieved over the past forty years. Our anniversary is also an opportunity to look ahead to the next forty years and to stress the urgency of a global transformation towards environmentally sustainable and socially just societies.

Friends of the Earth International was founded in 1971 in Roslagen, Sweden by a group of environmental activists from France, Sweden, the UK and the US. These activists saw a pressing need for an organization that would facilitate the tackling of cross-boundary environmental issues. Forty years later, the federation boasts 76 member groups and over 2 million individual members and supporters around the world. Our positions and campaigns are informed by our work with the grassroots and communities. Friends of the Earth International is also part of a global environmental and social movement that includes farmers, indigenous peoples, workers, women and young people.

Nnimmo Bassey, chair of Friends of the Earth International, said: “As we work together around the world, we show belligerent institutions and governments that the path to the future is one of solidarity and not of competition and destruction. We are proud to say that in forty years we have grown in numbers and power and will continue to stand firmly with people struggling for environmental justice across the world.”

Friends of the Earth International members campaigns together on today’s most urgent environmental and social issues, from biodiversity to climate change and from agrofuels to mining. We work to diminish influence of neoliberal economic policies and the actions of some of the world’s most influential transnational companies and investors. We are calling for sustainable societies that ensure environmental and social justice, human dignity, and respect for human and peoples’ rights. We are convinced that a better world is necessary and possible, and will continue our work towards this end over the next 40 years.

We have produced a number of materials to mark our anniversary, including:

FoEI at 40: a briefing on the history of the federation, our key successes over the past decades, and our role in the global environmental and social movement

40 struggles and successes: a compilation of examples of the inspiring campaigns and victories of our member groups and the communities they work with on the ground

Copyright-free photos available for use by the media can be downloaded here: Friends of the Earth International 40th anniversary

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Friends of the Earth International Chair Nnimmo Bassey is available for interviews. Please contact Friends of the Earth International media coordinator Marlijn Dingshoff for more information: or +31 20 622 1369