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Top 10 Organisations Working for the Nature and Environment Protection

We live in a beautiful world. Planet Earth has an astonishing variety of life and stunning natural habitats. Unfortunately, the actions of humans on this planet has caused damage to this beautiful world. An over dependence on fossil fuels has contributed significantly to the greenhouse effect and climate change; deforestation has destroyed the natural habitats of species all over the world; poachers have led to the near extinction of a number of beautiful species; and plastic pollution is choking up oceans around the globe.

Thankfully, there a number of non-profit environmental organisations that work tirelessly to protect and conserve our planet, campaigning and taking action against pressing issues. Some of the top environmental organisations protecting nature, include:

1 World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Probably the best known nature protection agency, the World Wide Fund or Nature, is an international non-governmental organisation (NGO), which aims to build a future world where 'people live in harmony with nature. Founded in 1961, the WWF is the largest conservation and protection organisation in the world, supporting in excess of 1,300 projects in over 100 countries across the globe. They have a huge supporter base, with over 5 million patrons throughout the world, contributing to the cause through donations and volunteering. The majority of their funding comes through bequests and individuals, with additional funding coming from corporations and government sources.

The WWF supports many environmental and conservation projects,including wilderness preservation, reducing the impact of humans on the environment, protection of endangered species, tackling climate change, sustainable and ethical production, promoting a reduction of wasteful consumption and production, and conservation of the four environments that contain most of the worlds biodiversity: coastlines, oceans, freshwater and and forest ecosystems. Education is also an important part of the WWF's work. They hope to educate the general public on how to live in a way that is friendlier to the environment, and draw attention to the plight of endangered animals and dwindling natural habitats. Furthermore the WWF, develops a number of campaigns, hoping to influence policy makers, into doing more to protect nature and the environment.

Official website: World Wide Fund for Nature
2 Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC) In recent years, the plastic pollution of the ocean has become an increasing problem. The amount of plastic in the ocean is one of the highest profile environmental issues of the 21st century, being the subject of many hard-hitting documentaries and articles. For that reason, an organisation that is tackling the plastic problem, in the ocean and beyond, deserves to be included on this list. The Plastic Pollution Coalition, was founded in 2009, with the aim of stopping plastic pollution, and the toxic effect is has on animals, humans and the environment.

The PPC acts as a platform to educate and make people aware of the effect excess plastic waste has on our world. Plastic never biodegrades and therefore builds up in the environment thanks to 30 million tonnes of plastic waste being dumped each year. This plastic waste pollutes groundwater, it poisons food chains from the bottom up, it attracts other pollutants, and seriously threatens wildlife. The PPC and their 500 affiliate organisations share their knowledge of plastic pollution, as well as educating abut sustainable solutions. They advice organisations on how they can reduce their plastic waste, with the aim of encouraging more people throughout the world on living plastic-free.

Official website: Plastic Pollution Coalition
3 Sierra Club Foundation The Sierra Club Foundation, is one of the oldest environmental protection organisation, being founded way back in 1892. With headquarters in Oakland, California and with over three million members, the Sierra Club is one of the biggest and most influential grassroots environmental organisations in the world. They have 64 chapters across America, as well as being extremely active overseas, with over 20,000 international outings each year. They have made great strides in improving the environment, by protecting 250 million acres of land, as well as aiding in the retirement of 251 coal-fired power plants. They are at the forefront of the movement to switch from dirty fossil fuels, like coal, towards cleaner energy sources.

The mission of the Sierra Club Foundation, is to 'explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth.' The aim to promote and encourage a more responsible use of the world's resources and ecosystems. They do this though education and by enlisting help for their projects throughout the world. They also campaign to policy makers, helping the pass the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Endangered Species Act.

Official website: Sierra Club Foundation
4 Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Founded in 1967, the Environmental Defense Fund is a New York-based non-profit organisation, that tackles a wide range of environmental issues. With 700 scientists, policy experts, economists and other professionals making up their workforce, and over 2 million members, the EDF is one of the world's largest environmental organisations in the world. The are also one of the widest ranging organisations, known for their projects in a number of issues, including: global warming, restoration of ecosystems, conservation and clean up of the ocean, protection of wildlife and their habitats, help companies to adopt ethical and environmentally friendly practices, and human health. The EDF uses sound science, law and economics to find realistic solutions to these issues, and they are bipartisan, meaning that they work with members of congress from both parties.

The EDF is committed to finding innovative solution to environmental problems in both America and around the world. Amongst their successes they count the persuasion of big companies, including McDonald's, to adopt more environmentally friendly practices; reduced overfishing in the United States, and driving the reduction of methane emissions that are harmful to the environment. To reach their goal, the EDF works with partner organisations, companies, communities and government agencies.

Official website: Environmental Defense Fund
5 The Nature Conservancy The mission of The Nature Conservancy is simple: 'Conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.' Founded in 1951, the aim of this non-profit organisation is to protect nature in all of its forms, for today and for future generations. Their mission is to work towards a world where diversity thrives, and people use positive actions to conserve nature, so it can function as it should. They have a strong focus on ecologically significant lands and waters throughout the world tackling the likes of climate change, forest protection, invasive species, and the degradation of marine ecosystems.

They achieve their goals with the help their extensive and diverse staff, which includes over 600 scientists, working in 72 countries around the world. They also have the help of many partners, from individuals to governments, and corporations to local non-profits. A non-confrontational, collaborative approach, allows The Nature Conservancy to stay true to their core values, which include:
Respect for All – The organisation always respect the communities and cultures in conservation areas. This encourages collaboration as opposed to conflict, with indigenous people, to work on practical conservation solutions together.
Integrity – They always strive to meet the highest ethical standard in everything that they do, being honest at all times, and accountable to each other and to their mission.
Commitment to Diversity – The organisation is aware that their conservation efforts work best when they are implemented by people and organisations with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Official website: The Nature Conservancy
6 Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) Founded in 1969, initially as an anti-nuclear group, Friends of the Earth International (FoEI). Since then the FoEI has since grown into a huge international environmental network, consisting of 75 national organisations, and over 5,000 local activist groups, spread over every continent. They have over 2 million supporters and members worldwide, campaigning on the most pressing social and environmental issues. Their primary aim is to promote ethical solutions that will encourage the creation of sustainable and just societies. They manage to work toward this goal by allowing all their members to contribute to decision making, and by working in harmony with indigenous peoples, trade unions, and human rights organisations, amongst others.

From their small headquarters in Amsterdam, is a little different from other environmental organisations, as they look at environmental issues in terms of their political, social and human rights contexts. They are not the traditional conservation organisation, taking into great consideration, the development and economic issues surrounding sustainability. With the majority of their projects now taking place in the developing world, the FoEI currently campaign in the likes of forests and biodiversity, climate justice, food sovereignty, climate justice, economic justice, mining and extractive industries, and desertification, amongst others.

Official website: Friends of the Earth International
7 Greenpeace One of the best known environmental organisations, Greenpeace was founded in 1971 by a small group of activists, and since has expanded to bases in over 40 countries. Despite the vast growth of the organisation, their mission has remained the same: to defend the planet and promote peace throughout it. Their goal is to achieve positive change through action, working towards a greener and more peaceful world. They aim to change the world, by changing the attitudes of individuals, governments and organisations, so they stop seeing the earth as an 'inexhaustible resource'. Instead they want people to see the world as precious, and something that needs protection, conservation, and careful management. They envision an earth that is ecologically healthy, and therefore able to support a wide range of biodiversity.

Greenpeace campaigns for change by taking positive actions in a number of forms. They investigate and expose environmental abuse where they see it, and campaign to policy makers and government to promote more environmentally responsible solutions, as well as more socially just communities. They focus on many issues worldwide, including the likes of: deforestation, overfishing, genetic engineering, climate change, and commercial whaling. They do so without accepting funding from any corporations, political parties or organisation, or governments. Instead they rely of grands from foundations, and almost 3 million individual supporters.seed

Official website: Greenpeace
8 Plastic Oceans Foundation The ocean covers more than 70 percent of the Earth's surface, and as our planet's largest habitat it contains approximately 1 million species, up to a third of which are yet to be describes. It is home to an astonishing variety of biodiversity, from majestic blue whales, to the almost mythical creatures of the deep. It is terribly sad that 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into the oceans each year, proving toxic and harmful to many species and habitats. The Plastics Oceans Foundation is a non-profit organisation that has the primary goal of tackling the plastic problem affecting all of the world's oceans.

They raised an astonishing awareness for their primary issue with their award-winning documentary 'A Plastic Ocean', which is described by world famous naturalist and broadcaster, Sir David Attenborough, as: 'The most important film of our time.' The documentary serves as a powerful educational tools for schools, organisations and individuals alike, to show the extent of plastic pollution in the ocean. It informs the need for change, and for additional funding, to clean up our oceans for the species that live within it, and for ourselves. They aim to change attitudes towards plastics within a generation, by chancing perceptions that it is disposable, when in fact 10 of discarded plastic ends up in the ocean.

Official website: Plastic Oceans Foundation
9 Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Founded in 1970 by a group of environmental lawyers and law students, the Natural Resources Defense Council, has worked to safeguard the earth since its inception. They seek to protect all inhabitants of the earth – people, plants and animals – and the natural systems on which life depends. They have the support of over thee million members and online activists, as well as the expertise of 500 lawyers, policy advocates, and scientists, throughout the world. Their extensive staff of experienced professionals, the NRDC is extremely adept at fighting for policy changes to create a clean-energy future, as well as protecting endangered species, and conserve the world's oceans.

The NRDC use sound science and expert data to discover the root cause of the environmental issues that affect the world today. Using that information, they formulate solutions that will help to conserve the environment and all life within it, far into the future. The non-profit runs a number of environmental programs, including: the Save the Bees Initiative, the Health Program, the Climate and Clean Air Program, the Nuclear Program, and the Water and Oceans Program, amongst others.

Official website: Natural Resources Defense Council
10 350 The name of this environmental organisation makes reference to 350 parts per million of atmospheric carbon dioxide, which is considered by climate scientists to be the maximum level, at which the earth will maintain its current environmental health. The current level of atmospheric carbon dioxide is at 400ppm, and it is increasing at a level of 2 ppm every year. If the level continues to increase at this rate, the future of a number of climates around the world will undergo a significant change. 350 seeks to reduce the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide for the benefit of all living things and ecological systems.

350 works toward their goal by utilising online campaigns, grassroots movements, and mass public actions, to help oppose new fossil fuel projects, prevent companies contributing to the greenhouse effect from gaining more funding, and developing 100% clean energy solutions that work for and benefit all. This climate change organisation has a huge international network that spreads to over 188 countries worldwide.

Official website: 350

The work these environmental agencies do to protecting our planet and everything that lives on it, is truly inspiring. But, many of them wont survive without the generous donations from benefactors, and they need help to achieve their goals.

When it comes to making the world a better place, every positive action can build up, especially if we all play our parts. So, next time you are going grocery shopping consider if you can cut down on your plastic consumption; perhaps you could plant a tree in your garden; or maybe you could volunteer one day a year to pick up debris at your local beach or park. Could you even give up one of your fancy coffees a month, and donate that money to a non-profit environmental organisation? We all share this world, so we all bear a responsibility for what is happening to it. Every little thing will help to build a better future for our planet.