Greenpeace is a non-governmental environmental organization with offices in over 40 countries and with an international coordinating body in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Greenpeace was founded by Irving Stowe and Dorothy Stowe, Canadian and US ex-pat environmental activists in 1971, Greenpeace states its goal is to "ensure the ability of the Earth to nurture life in all its diversity" and focuses its campaigning on worldwide issues such as climate change, deforestation, overfishing, commercial whaling, genetic engineering, and anti-nuclear issues. It uses direct action, lobbying, research, and ecotage to achieve its goals. The global organization does not accept funding from governments, corporations, or political parties, relying on 2.9 million individual supporters and foundation grants. Greenpeace has a general consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council and is a founding member of the INGO Accountability Charter; an international non-governmental organization that intends to foster accountability and transparency of non-governmental organizations.
Greenpeace is known for its direct actions and has been described as the most visible environmental organization in the world. Greenpeace has raised environmental issues to public knowledge, and influenced both the private and the public sector. Greenpeace has also been a source of controversy; its motives and methods (some of the latter being illegal) have received criticism, including an open letter from more than 100 Nobel laureates urging Greenpeace to end its campaign against genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The organization's direct actions have sparked legal actions against Greenpeace activists, such as fines and suspended sentences for destroying a test plot of genetically modified wheat and damaging the Nazca Lines, a UN World Heritage site in Peru.