In his article, “Understanding Forest Campaigns, Activists and their Demands,” Tyler Elm discusses the differences between social purpose NGOs and political activist NGOs, as well as the historical context of forest campaigns. He goes on to discuss the campaign by Greenpeace against Resolute, as well as the relationship between forest certification systems and activists.
As I look back on my career, I cannot help but be amazed in how my understanding of the environmental movement and its many actors has evolved with time and experience. For example, I used to think that the efforts of all environmental “NGOs” (non-governmental organizations) were rooted in science, their narratives truthful and their causes just. And while many are, some are most certainly not and all have a business model, a revenue model and an agenda – which is to be expected. But herein lies the important details of understanding the type and character of every environmental NGO.