Friends of the Earth

From Academic Kids

Friends of the Earth is an international network of environmental organizations in 70 countries. It is structured as a confederation, each member organization being autonomous. In turn the national groups are composed of grassroots local groups working in their own areas.

The groups which make up Friends of the Earth conduct their own campaigns and coordinate their activities through the umbrella body Friends of the Earth International (FOEI).


Campaign Issues

Friends of the Earth is committed to considering environmental issues in their social, political and human rights contexts. Thus their campaigns stretch beyond the traditional arena of the conservation movement and seek to address the economic and development aspects of sustainability.

The current campaign priorities of Friends of the Earth internationally are:

Friends of the Earth groups

The Friends of the Earth organizations in each country are themselves many-tiered networks reaching from grassroots activists up to the national pressure group which campaigns for environmentally progressive and sustainable policies. The groups and activists at all levels also carry out educational and research activities.

Friends of the Earth groups are required to act independently of party political, religious or other influences; be open, democratic and non-discrimatory in their internal structures; and be willing to cooperate with other organizations who are working for the same goals. These are conditions of remaining members of FOEI.

The national groups work on the main issues affecting their own country and choose to participate in the international campaigns of FOEI which are relevant to them. In turn, the local (grassroots) campaigners can work on local, national and/or international campaigns.

Structure of the network

The member organization in a particular country may name itself Friends of the Earth or an equivalent translated prase in the national language, e.g. Friends of the Earth (US), Friends of the Earth (EWNI) (England Wales and Northern Ireland), Federacion Argentina Amigos de la Tierra. However, roughly half of the member groups work under their own names, sometimes reflect an independent origin and subsequent accession to the network, such as ERA (FOE Nigeria) and WALHI (FOE Indonesia).

The international coordinating body, Friends of the Earth International (FOEI), exists as a secretariat based in Amsterdam, and as an executive committee known as ExCom. The ExCom is elected by all member groups at a general meeting held every two years, and it is the ExCom which employs the secretariat. At the same general meeting, overall policies and priority activities are agreed.

In addition to work which is coordinated at the FOEI level, national member groups are free to carry out their own campaigns and to work bi- or multi-laterally as they see fit, as long as this does not go against agreed policy at the international level.


Friends of the Earth was created in 1969 the United States by David Brower after his split with the Sierra Club. It became an international network in 1971 with a meeting of representatives from the USA, Sweden, England and France. For further historical details see articles on the national FOE organizations.

Friends of the Earth groups (incomplete list)

External link

eo:La Teramikoj fr:Les Amis de la Terre es:Amigos de la Tierra


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