Five Growing NGOs Protecting Our Environment
Concerns about the environment are growing around the world as governments, scientists, and activists are witnessing first-hand the devastating effects of climate change. With increasing threats to the climate come dangers for us humans, too. Many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are taking proactive steps to help protect and heal natural areas, and us with it. Here’s a look into what NGOs are and what some are doing.
An NGO is a non-profit organization that is citizen-lead and unaffiliated with the government. These groups dedicate their time and resources to social, political and environmental responsibilities, and many times, the three overlap. For example, NGOs that protect our environment sometimes get involved with the political and social aspects that impact the climate.
Active citizens founded the following NGOs in recent years. These are just a few organizations that you should keep an eye on. With momentum, they can bring about change.
In the past year alone, plastic—specifically single-use plastic—faced significant amounts of public backlash. Regular plastic is not biodegradable and sticks around for many years—we've all seen the images of this material in our oceans and parks.
EcoDrive is a Hong Kong-based organization that seeks to raise awareness of the dangers of single-use plastic. Through educating at schools, panels and presentations, the 11 women that founded this organization seek to reduce plastic use in their country. They also reach out to corporate offices to educate people in the workplace and how that reduction can lead to a cleaner city.
With community outreach programs as well, like beach cleanup, these women are pioneering a path for a future with less pollution.
2. International Women Association Kep
A prime example of how political, social and environmental elements add up is through the results of the work from IWA Kep. This NGO is a Swiss non-profit that helps women in Cambodia locate jobs in the plastic recycling industry. In the Kep Province, some women have difficulty finding a well-paying position. IWA Kep helps these women financially and creatively.
The process first entails collecting plastic bags and training women to recycle them in creative ways. They turn the bags into baskets, purses and more, thus recycling them into long-lasting products. The company also seeks to raise children's awareness of plastic waste through education. Plus, they're looking for alternatives to this material for the future.
3. Terra Conscious
In western India, the state of Goa offers many beautiful attractions like the beaches, temples and wildlife. That's why Terra Conscious operates as a marine conservation organization out of the northern part of the area. With community engagement and partnerships, the organization seeks to foster a better relationship between people and their social impact.
Goa is a popular spot for tourists, so ensuring the protection of marine and land biodiversity has become a significant focus for this social enterprise. Terra Conscious offers educational experiences that raise awareness of conservation challenges that the environment faces, globally and locally. With opportunities like ocean biodiversity experiences, kayaking explorations, diving programs and cycling trails, they make conservation fun and powerful.
4. Conflict and Environment Observatory
CEOBS offers a unique look into the negative consequences military conflicts have on the environment and how it affects civilians. CEOBS provides a compelling look at how to raise awareness and take action. The volunteers report on environmental impacts from armed conflicts; plus, they speak out against any military or political regulations that have humanitarian or ecological consequences.
This organization offers its services and website as a resource for journalists, activists and researchers. With these incidents recorded, they attempt to aid people, environments or regions affected. Some of the countries in which CEOBS operates include Colombia, Iraq, Palestinian territories, Syria, Afghanistan and more.
5. Climate Conversations
In a broader perspective, climate change affects the entire world. From forest fires in California and Australia, to greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, the environment requires attention from everyone. Climate Conversations takes the lead in starting dialogues that spread awareness and reach people from continent to continent. The organization offers outreach programs for anyone to take advantage of.
When you use this company's information and services, you can start a conversation with a loved one or acquaintance about taking responsibility for carbon footprints and energy consumption. Their facilitators reach people across all ages and locations. Once one person starts talking, others continue, bringing about long-term change.
The Future of NGOs and the Environment
These five NGOs are just getting started. Founders created these organizations very recently, and their potentials are limitless.
NGOs have been around for many years and strive for the global change that we need. While some have significant resources, most others need funding by donations and volunteers to do their work. With scientists predicting imminent environmental dangers, the time for action has never been more pressing.
Jenna Tsui is a Texan journalist who co-owns The Byte Beat blog. She writes about the latest news in sustainability, culture, technology and more. Check out her work on TBB or follow her on Twitter @jenna_tsui .