While Greenpeace's first protest at Amchitka Island had a clear, straightforward goal, its subsequent efforts lacked the same clarity. Members interpreted the organization's ecological goals differently. National and regional chapters disputed tactics and projects.
The brain scientist Dr. Paul Spong convinced some members of the Vancouver Greenpeace chapter to take up the cause of whales and defend them from hunters. Many volunteers were captivated by the mission that ultimately came to define Greenpeace, but others felt this pursuit was limiting and less important than protesting nuclear testing.
Such rifts between group members and between national and regional organizations threatened the solidity of Greenpeace. The organization needed an official governing body with an unambiguous mission and budget. David McTaggart, one of the Vega's Moruroa crew, founded Greenpeace International in 1979. This was the start of a unified mission and mindset for Greenpeace.
Greenpeace International (or Stichting Greenpeace Council) is based in Amsterdam. Its board of directors sets the organization's annual budget and elects and monitors the Greenpeace International Executive Director. The board members are chosen by representatives from national and regional offices, who are in turn chosen by national and regional boards elected by Greenpeace members. The council is dedicated to the aforementioned six primary objectives, and you can learn more about recent developments, whales and nuclear bombs by perusing the links on the next page.