Greenpeace is a non-governmental environmental organization with offices in over 55 countries and an international coordinating body in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Greenpeace was founded in 1971 by Irving Stowe and Dorothy Stowe, Canadian and US ex-pat environmental activists. 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 three 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 one of the most visible environmental organisations in the world. It has raised environmental issues to public knowledge, and influenced both the private and the public sector. The organization has received criticism; it was the subject of an open letter from more than 100 Nobel laureates urging Greenpeace to end its campaign against genetically modified organisms. 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.
Along with several other NGOs, Greenpeace was the subject of an improper investigation by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation between 2001 – 2005. The Inspector General of the US Justice Department determined that there was "little or no basis" for the investigation and that it resulted in the FBI giving inaccurate and misleading information to the United States Congress.