8 groups that turn your cash into a better planet

Israeli environmental groupIn the wake of the 2016 American presidential election, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) observed an unusual and muscular increase in online political action by people concerned about conservation and the environment. Especially noteworthy is an uptick in financial support to environmental NGOs by citizens willing to back their beliefs with cash.

According to NRDC spokesman Josh Mogerman, 50,000 more donors contributed to the organization in December 2016 than in prior months. The Trust for Public Land experienced a 35 percent increase in online donations the week after the election, according to spokesman Tim Ahern. “Mostly these are new donors,” he told Outsider Online, “People are realizing––particularly after some of the cabinet picks [Trump] is making, like for the Environmental Protection Agency––that some of the work they have been taking for granted might be under threat.”

On the heels of American Thanksgiving Day, we encourage readers to express their gratitude for the enduring efforts of organizations doing great work for our planet. We chose environment-focused organizations where your donation goes furthest, and where you can readily check how donations are used. Click on each title for links to their websites.

1. Emirates Environmental Group

The Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) is dedicated to environmental protection and responsible waste management through education, community engagement and action projects. Founded in 1991, and the first environmental NGO in the world to be accredited with the ISO 14001 certification, EEG has made a positive contribution to sustainable development in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates.

2. The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy protects ecologically important lands and waters around the world with the help of more than 500 staff scientists.It spends over 70% of its operating budget on preservation programs that address climate change, fresh water, forests, invasive species, and marine ecosystems.

3. Emirates Wildlife Society

Emirates Wildlife Society in association with WWF (EWS-WWF) was created in 2001 to address the need to protect biodiversity (particular Emirati species and ecosystems) and tackle climate change through education, awareness raising and policy development. Some of its initiatives include the eco-label Blue Flag (awarded to beaches) and Wadi Wurayah (the UAE’s first Mountain Protected Area).

4. Greenpeace International

Recognized as the world’s largest NGO, Greenpeace has campaigned since 1971 to address environmental threats faced by our planet. These include protecting our oceans and ancient forests, working towards disarmament and peace and – the greatest risk – climate change. Today Greenpeace is active in 40 nations.

5. Friends of the Earth Middle East

Founded in 1994 as EcoPeace, Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) unites environmentalists from Jordan and Palestine focused on cross-border environmental and peace-building issues, working to promote cooperative efforts to protect the shared environmental heritage and natural resources that the people and wildlife of the region are dependent upon. In 1997, FoEME joined Friends of the Earth International, the largest grassroots environmental organization in the world.

6. Environmental Defense Fund

Perhaps the organization with the widest range on this list, EDF spends nearly 80% of its income developing solutions to problems caused by climate change that threaten oceans, wildlife and habitats, and human health. EDF works with other organizations, businesses, government, and communities to create incentives for positive environmental actions; help companies become better environmental stewards; influence policy; and keep tabs on emerging issues

7.  Israeli Marine Mammal Research and Assistance Center

Non-profit IMMRAC is dedicated to the study and conservation of cetacean populations inhabiting the Eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf of Aqaba/Eilat. It conducts near-shore surveys of habitat use, site fidelity, trends in population size and genetic profiles of coastal bottlenose dolphins, the most common local species. IMMRAC mans a nationwide, 24-hour alert net to responds to real-time reports of distressed-at-sea, floating, beached and stranded dolphins, as well as a modest rehabilitation facility for sick/injured animals. They promote public awareness and lobby for marine environment conservation.

8. Sierra Club Foundation
The Sierra Club Foundation is the fiscal sponsor of the Sierra Club’s charitable environmental programs, and promotes efforts to educate and empower people to protect and improve the natural and human environment. The Sierra Club promotes climate solutions, conservation, and movement building through a powerful combination of strategic philanthropy and grassroots advocacy.

With winter holidays nearing, consider making a donation in lieu of presents. It will truly be a gift that keeps on giving.
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