What are the top environmental organizations in India? Here is a comprehensive list of Indian environmental organizations that work towards making India a cleaner, pollution-free country.
The environment may be described as the natural world, either wholesome or a certain geographical region, mainly affected by humanity and its activities. This natural environment comprises living and non-living things that occur naturally – without human intervention.
Human activities, in a significant sense, alter the natural order of things and have, in many instances, led to the degradation of the natural environment. For instance, deforestation, overuse of fossil fuels, over-mining, and improper disposal of non-degradable materials all lead to environmental devastation.
Some of these human activities are the main causes of the current climate change menace threatening our entire planet’s future. However, various environmental organizations and individuals have come up to help save the environment as we know it.
In this article, we look at some top environmental organizations in India that are on the front line, advocating for environmental preservation.
Top Indian Environmental Organizations
CHINTAN is among India’s top environmental organizations, whose impact is felt throughout India. The organization ensures more responsible resource consumption that doesn’t burden the planet or the poor.
Its mission is to see a reduction in waste production and unsustainable consumption. Also, it works with the communities to enable better waste management, which in turn helps to curb air and environmental pollution. CHINTAN focuses more on the poor populations, children and women, and marginalized communities.
In essence, the organization is centered on environmental justice and works in partnership with various individuals or groups in the society. Its goal of achieving sustainable production, consumption, and improved waste disposal is what makes it one of the most famous environmental organizations in India.
2. Greenpeace India
This is one of the best Indian Environmental NGOs, whose reach extends to over 55 other countries globally. It is a branch of the Greenpeace environmental group in various continents, including Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and the Americas.
Greenpeace India runs four distinct campaigns, namely:
- Stop climate change
- Preserving the oceans
- Sustainable agriculture
- Prevention of another nuclear catastrophe
The organization uses a peaceful, creative approach to paving the way for a greener and more peaceful planet by tackling the systems that threaten the existence of our environment. Greenpeace India gets its funding from Indian donors (60%), Greenpeace International – Netherlands (38%), and around 1% from the Climate Works Foundation in the US.
According to Greenpeace India, it tries to avoid influence by avoiding funding from governments, political parties, corporations, and various intergovernmental organizations. This way, they can remain objective in protecting the environment.
3. Help Delhi Breathe
This is a non-profit environmental organization that was formed in 2015 to help bring to an end the air pollution crisis in Delhi, India. As air pollution in the city reaches unprecedented levels, Delhi becomes one of the most air-polluted regions in the world. This crisis is what brought about the initiative of Help Delhi Breathe.
The organization’s main goal is to educate the city’s residents about the dangers of these air pollution levels and sensitize them to devise permanent solutions to the problem. The initiative creates numerous campaigns encouraging people to join hands and reverse this situation.
Air pollution in Delhi comes from a combination of various gaseous emissions from burnt fossil fuels, including carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide. These are the same gasses that are responsible for dangerous climate change.
Help Delhi Breathe aims to avail accurate information to everyone in the city, encourage clean public transport, and help Delhi adopt clean, renewable solar energy.
4. Clean Air Asia, India
This branch of Clean Air Asia also has other offices in the Philippines and China. The organization has been in India for over a decade now (since 2008). Like the “Help Delhi Breathe” organization, Clean Air Asia’s goal is to reduce air pollution in various cities in India, which will result in healthy, livable cities.
It is one of the top environmental organizations in India that are making a difference. They focus on cities like Delhi, whose air pollution levels have become hazardous to the residents, aiming to help rectify the situation.
The organization’s main work in India includes working with various Indian cities to ensure quality air management. This involves providing city governments with scientific input to help improve air quality, education on cleaner air, and sustainable transport.
Currently, Clean Air Asia, India, is working with over 30 cities to evaluate the management capacity in readiness to implement the action plans for clean air.
5. The Wildlife Protection Society of India
Established in 1994, the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) works to bring a fresh focus, in tackling the overwhelming Indian wildlife crisis. WPSI was founded by Belinda Wright, a photographer and filmmaker before conservation passion took over.
As one of the top environmental organizations in India, WPSI works with various government authorities to help curb poaching and the ever-rising illegal wildlife trade. For instance, wild tigers are among India’s most trafficked wild animals, a trend that continuously threatens their future existence.
Recently, WPSI has also taken on the issue of human-animal conflicts, as well as providing support for various research projects. The organization boasts of a team of devoted environmentalists who aim to ensure a greener future and a peaceful coexistence between humans and wildlife.
The organization, born in 1984, has Vandana Shiva, one of the most influential environmentalists in the world, as one of its founders. It focuses on supporting and directing environmental preservation and activism in India and beyond.
The organization, part of the “Terra Madre slow food movement,” comprises a system of organic producers and seed keepers throughout some 16 states in India. The organization has seen through the establishment of 122 community-based seed banks throughout the country, as well as trained more than half a million farmers in sustainable agriculture and food sovereignty.
Navdanya has also helped establish India’s largest “direct marketing, fair trade organic network.” The organization is always against GMOs and has worked with various grassroots organizations, citizens’ movements, NGOs, and governments to lobby for “seed protection” through the Convention on Biological Diversity.
7. Toxics Link
This organization comprises people who have sought environmental justice by freeing nature from toxins. Toxics Link gathers information about the various sources of environmental poisoning and shares the same with the public. They also try to come up with clean, healthy, and sustainable alternatives for India and the world.
Toxics Link creates various public awareness campaigns, including film festivals, mass media, and educational programs to nurture young environmentalists.
Some of the main issues that Toxics Link deals with include:
- Chemical and Health – Chemicals in products, mercury in Healthcare, mercury in products, lead in paints, food safety, and POPs (persistent organic pollutants) and pesticides.
- Waste and Sustainability – Biomedical waste, electronic waste, hazardous waste, municipal waste, solar waste, and plastic waste.
- Green Initiative – Delhi Ridge, Yamuna Manifesto, Yamuna Elbe.
This is one NGO related to the environment in India whose plans and actions can bring immeasurable change in the future.
8. Environics Trust
This is another environmental NGO that works to guarantee environmental preservation in India. Environics Trust’s main goal is to create innovative, evidence-backed solutions to pressing environmental problems.
While the term Environics stands for “the study of how the environment influences human behavior,” this organization takes a more comprehensive approach. Environics Trust considers the mutual influence between the environment and social behavior.
The organization explores this crucial area through various programs focusing on communities that partner with the NGO. For instance, it offers research and evaluation services to both international and national institutions, as well as works directly with marginalized communities.
9. Hara Jeevan
Hara Jeevan is an environmental NGO formed from Mohit Saini’s zeal to curb pollution in Delhi. His belief in a healthy relationship between humans and nature drove him to form this organization – to create awareness of the need to maintain a healthy balance.
Hara Jeevan aims to restore natural elements and improve the human psyche, to help achieve this goal. By planting and sustaining 100 million trees before 2040, the organization hopes to restore the once flourishing environment, creating better living standards for humanity living in Delhi.
Hara Jeevan’s pillar projects include:
- Planting and sustenance of trees
- Waste management
- Youth education
All these are designed to help revert the rising environmental pollution in Delhi and re-establish a clean, livable environment.
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10. FORREST (Forest Regeneration and Environment Sustainability Trust)
Established in 2015, FORREST is an NGO working for environment protection, to strengthen the human-nature bond to promote peaceful coexistence. The organization focuses on six main areas to accomplish its goals. These include:
- Habitat restoration
- Water conservation
- Education and awareness
- Biodiversity conservation
- Natural farming
- Waste management & composting
Through these, FORREST hopes to achieve natural ecosystems comprising flourishing flora and fauna, with clean-flowing rivers and natural wetlands, all for the benefit of everyone. This will have ultimately solved the climate change catastrophe the planet faces.
This top CSR consultant based in Delhi deals with various social development sector disciplines, focusing more on CSR (social responsibility) and Sustainability. This research-based NGO offers expertise in multiple sectors, including:
- Skill development
Fiinovation is among the top environmental organizations in India and houses the first “proposal and research lab,” in Asia. The laboratory focuses its research on the above five areas. Recently, Fiinovation has been doing relief projects on education, COVID-19, the environment, and awareness.
Fiinovation reckons that a company’s activities will affect the people inside and around the company. For this reason, it sensitizes different companies to implement policies that will help minimize negative effects. For instance, companies should strive to reduce their carbon footprint by implementing necessary production policies.
Avan is an indigenous Indian NGO working for environmental protection in the country. Formerly established in 1997 as the “Kumuon chapter of Barefoot College,” Avan was later registered as a not-for-profit organization in 1999.
In the Kumaon area of the Uttarakhand state in India, Avani is an organization anchored on sustainability and local community empowering principles. It thrives through its diverse network of employees, volunteers, and interns, who give life to its community-based development programs.
Since it’s based in a region where subsistence farming is the main source of income for families, Avani is constantly evolving to develop fresh approaches towards a sustainable, conservation-oriented generation of livelihood for these communities.
The organization’s name, “Avani” is derived from a Hindu word meaning the Earth. And it’s in this spirit that the organization works tirelessly to preserve nature, as well as sustainably empower marginalized communities.
The foundations of Avani environmental organization solely rests on environmental conservation, fair trade, women empowerment, and traditional knowledge preservation.
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13. Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC)
Since its inception in 1991, ISC has managed over 115 community-based sustainability projects in over 30 countries. Besides India, ISC exists in multiple other countries globally, including the US, Bangladesh, and China.
It is an independent non-profit organization that strives to get community-based solutions in alleviating climate pollution in these countries. In essence, ISC partners with local businesses and communities to create and implement environmental-friendly projects that help mobilize communities into:
- Introducing clean water, air and land to the communities
- Resource conservation and introduction of energy efficiency measures
- Reduce the causes of climate change and adapt to the local effects of the same
- Sustainable rebuilding after disasters
The organization works to unleash the hidden power of local communities and institutions in addressing environmental, social, and economic challenges and creating permanent solutions. ISC is undoubtedly among the top environmental organizations in India for a good reason.