International organizations make it possible to unite environmental activities of interested states regardless of their political positions and highlight environmental problems from the rest of other international issues. In today’s article, we will talk of the TOP 5 most famous international environmental organizations that accept students.
WWF — World Wildlife Fund
WWF is the world’s largest non-profit environmental organization, which has more than five million supporters. It was founded by a British biologist and businessman Julian Huxley soon after he, as Director-General of UNESCO, has visited East Africa. Huxley was amazed at the speed with which local flora and fauna were destroyed in this region, and he immediately began to “ring alarm bells” by publishing articles on this issue. Afterward, on September 11, 1961, the WWF charitable organization was officially registered, the main office of which was located in Switzerland.
Since that time, the representatives of the World Wild Foundation managed to implement various projects. For example, they fought to preserve a unique diversity of plants and animals in Southern Siberia, and in 2002, they launched “Save the Leopard!” campaign aimed at protecting one of the rarest predators of the land – Far Eastern leopard.
The WWF report is published every two years and it is considered to be one of the most quoted and authoritative sources in the world of information on an environmental situation on our planet. The report is developed by scientists from the Zoological Society of London and the World Ecological Footprint Network. The report assesses the level of health of our planet based on several indicators: a state of animal populations, use of natural resources by mankind, use of renewable energy sources, an amount of fresh water consumed in production, and so on.
According to the World Wildlife Fund report, from 1970 to 2012, an index reflecting the number of different species of animals decreased by 58% with a population of animals living in freshwater decreasing by 81%.
The cause for an establishment of this organization was nuclear tests that America did in 60’s and 70’s. The first unofficial action of this formally-non-existent organization took place on October 16, 1970, in Vancouver as a protest against a nuclear test of ever more powerful bombs. On September 15, 1971, eco-activists sent a ship to Alaska in order to stop dangerous tests in a seismically dangerous region. By the way, originally, the ship was called “Phyllis Cormac” and only then it was renamed to “Greenpeace”.
One of the most popular Greenpeace methods for combating environmental issues is through strikes and protests.
Principles of organization:
Independence. Greenpeace exists only thanks to donations of citizens and private charitable foundations; it does not accept money from the state, commercial structures, and political parties. Greenpeace is responsible for effective use of allocated funds and uses them only on environmental projects.
Protest through action. Greenpeace believes in protesting through action, as this brings positive results; it believes that their protests and strikes can inspire people and organizations to change their attitude towards nature. This is probably the most notable way to draw attention to an environmental problem and achieve necessary changes.
Nonviolence. Greenpeace does not accept any form of violence as a method of achieving its goals. All actions are an expression of peaceful protest, even if these actions look ambiguous. Greenpeace never responds to aggression even when faced with intimidation or threat.
Thus, quite peacefully, Greenpeace members once opposed commercial whaling; drew attention to a destruction of the ozone layer of our planet; started a campaign against genetically modified products. However, the image of this organization in recent years has seriously been spoiled by all sorts of scandals and provocations by “green” activists. For example, you might recall a recent incident with an oil platform called Brent Spar, when several activists made their way to it and chained themselves to it. By doing so, they protested against flooding of the platform, which, as it turned out, was the most environmentally friendly way to get rid of this old construction.
In 1922, British ornithologists founded an organization that specialized in protecting birds and their habitats. More than seventy years later, this society received its present name and became an international organization, which today has one hundred twenty-one branches in various countries of the world which accept student volunteers. Speaking of students, they can get some aid with essays, research proposals and pay for an essay. Interestingly, in 2007, BirdLife International launched a large-scale campaign to save endangered species of birds. The project cost was about 40 million dollars.
UNESCO — United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Some goals declared by this organization are to contribute to a strengthening of peace and security by expanding cooperation between states and people in such fields as education, science and culture; ensuring justice and respect for the rule of law, universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, for all peoples, without distinction as to race, sex, language, orientation or religion.
The organization was established on November 16, 1945, and its headquarters are now located in Paris, France. Currently, the organization has 195 member states, 2 observer states and 10 associate members – territories not responsible for foreign policy. 182 Member States have a permanent mission in Paris, where there are also 4 permanent observers and 9 observation missions of intergovernmental organizations. The organization has more than 60 offices located in different parts of the world.
Among the issues that cover the organization’s activities are the problems of discrimination in education and illiteracy; the study of national cultures and the training of national personnel; problems of social sciences, geology, oceanography and the biosphere.
UNEP — United Nations Environment Programme
The program is created within the framework of the UN system, contributing to the coordination of nature conservation at the system-wide level. The main goal of UNEP is the organization and implementation of measures aimed at protecting and improving the environment for the benefit of present and future generations.
UNEP headquarters are located in Nairobi, Kenya. UNEP also has six large regional offices in various countries. UNEP is responsible for resolving all environmental issues at the global and regional levels.
UNEP activities involve running various projects in the field of the Earth’s atmosphere, marine and terrestrial ecosystems. UNEP also plays a significant role in the development of international conventions in the field of ecology and environmental protection. UNEP often cooperates with states and non-governmental international organizations. The organization also often sponsors and facilitates the implementation of environmental projects.
UNEP’s sphere of interest includes the development of international treaties on issues such as potentially hazardous chemicals, transboundary air pollution and pollution of international navigable channels.
Together with UNEP, The World Meteorological Organization established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988. UNEP is also one of the co-founders of the Global Environment Facility (GEF).