Major International Organizations Fighting Environmental Destruction

The United Nations Environmental Programme Champions of the Earth awards ceremony, hosted by Alec Baldwin and Diya Mirza. Image credit: AbhiSuryawanshi/Wikimedia Commons
The United Nations Environmental Programme Champions of the Earth awards ceremony, hosted by Alec Baldwin and Diya Mirza. Image credit: AbhiSuryawanshi/Wikimedia Commons

Environmental organizations operate around the world in an effort to analyze, track, and conserve the global environment. These organizations may be nonprofits, governmental, trusts, or non-governmental. Additionally, environmental organizations work at different levels around the world, including international, national, regional, or local. This article takes a look at the major international environmental organizations in the world.

World Nature Organization (WNO)

Planning for the World Nature Organization began in 2010 by the developing countries which are most threatened by climate change. These nations are located around the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean as well as a few countries in Africa. The Preparatory Commission published the WNO Treaty in June of 2012, but lack of interest left the agreement unsigned. This organization did not come into effect in May of 2014 as planned. Its goal was to promote economically friendly businesses, technology, energy, and activities.

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

The United National Environment Programme was founded in June of 1972 after the UN Conference on the Human Environment. It is responsible for a number of environmental issues concerning various UN agencies. Some of these responsibilities include: developing international environmental agreements, encouraging environmental science, and creating development policies with national governments. Experts of the UNEP have contributed to guidelines of treaties and policies in terms of potential contaminants.

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

The International Union for Conservation of Nature was established in 1948 and is comprised of over 1,200 government and non-government members. Its mission is to promote nature conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources around the globe. This environmental organization also focuses on issues such as poverty, gender equality, and sustainable business practices in order to achieve its objective. This organization is responsible for publishing the IUCN Red List which categorizes biological species by their conservation status.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

The IPCC works under the UN as an intergovernmental and scientific organization, established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and the previously mentioned UNEP. Its purpose is to offer the world an unbiased, scientific assessment of climate change and its effects. The IPCC reports are based on published literature by non-IPCC scientists on a voluntary basis. In 2007, this organization, along with Al Gore, received the Nobel Peace Prize.

Global Environment Facility (GEF)

The GEF was established in 1991 as a collaboration among 183 nations, civil organizations, private businesses, and international institutes. This organization finances projects concerning climate change, land degradation, international water, biodiversity, and the ozone layer. Currently, it is the largest public funder of these types of projects in the world. In total, the GEF has provided $12.5 billion, $58 billion in shared financing endeavors, and $653.2 million in small grants. Together, these funds have contributed to 3,690 projects in 165 countries.

Earth System Governance Project (ESGP)

The ESGP began in January of 2009 out of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change, a research project that focused on the human impact on global change. This project is a network of around 300 active and 2,300 indirectly involved academics from around the world. The goal of the ESGP is to publish research on the science concerning the difficulties of regulating global environmental change. By doing this, researchers hope to better understand the roles and responsibilities of governments, institutions, and organizations in issues of global commons and pollution.


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