Blogpost by Kumi Naidoo – 31 March, 2015 at 15:00
There is an old African proverb that says ‘if you want to travel fast go alone, if you want to travel far go together’. After five and a half years at Greenpeace, I think together we have travelled fast and far. And, we have travelled together. But it is nearly time for me to embark on a new journey.
By the end of this year I will be stepping down as the Greenpeace International Executive Director. The journey is far from over, and I will stay on it with you. I will then take on my most important role with Greenpeace, as a supporter and volunteer.
A volunteer on a journey, like those currently aboard the Greenpeace ship Esperanza. Six courageous volunteers, who stand for us all, are making #TheCrossing. Like the tip of an ‘iceberg’ made up of seven million concerned people, they are following Shell’s giant oil rig, the Polar Pioneer, as it makes its way across the Pacific towards the Alaskan Arctic to undertake dangerous Arctic oil drilling.
Why am I sharing this with you now if I won’t be leaving for nine months? It’s because the Board of Greenpeace International needs to begin the search for its next Executive Director, and such a search is public and requires extensive consultation. In the coming weeks we will be saying more about it. For the present, we have produced a statement that explains this announcement.
As I say in the statement, this is not a sudden decision for me. It’s not that I could not do more here, at Greenpeace International. I’d be happy to continue to work with, or rather for, all of you. But over the last year I have been feeling a strong pull to return home to South Africa. I have been away for 17 years and it feels that the time to return is upon me.
Global Climate Change