December 31 is almost upon us and many conservation organizations are doing their final fundraising push for the year. Some of the most important conservation work we can partake in are efforts to help local people work together with their native landscape to preserve a sustainable future together. To that end, for Christmas I chose to donate to each of the following organizations, each one in the name of a different person I care about.
Would you consider donating a small portion of the money you’ve been blessed with this year in order to help at least one small piece of the planet do a little bit better?
These are the environmental groups that I chose to give to this year:
I gave a donation in the name of my father (a zookeeper, herping, and wilderness enthusiast) to the Creative Conservation Alliance. The CCA is a Bangladesh-based nonprofit organization that works to conserve the future of the rarest and most spectacular reptiles and amphibians of Bangladesh.
They have diverse projects in several parts of the country, but their greatest focus is saving Bangladesh’s rarest turtles and tortoises via habitat preservation, hunting mitigation, egg and hatchling head-starting, scientific study, and community education. They have special relationships with the Mro people of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, where Bangladesh’s rarest tortoises are found and where the CCA runs schools, community conservation zones, and trains paraecologists to undertake biological research and conservation education.
You can donate to the Creative Conservation Alliance via their sponsors, the Turtle Survival Alliance, right here.
I gave a donation in the name of my sister (a physician’s assistant) to Health in Harmony.Health In Harmony works in Indonesia and Madagascar to support the communities that call the rainforest their home while also working to help them protect their forests forever. They run medical centers, economic support programs, sustainable farming development, and logging mitigation, focusing on communities around critical protected areas that support keynote endangered species such as organgutans or lemurs.
You can access Health in Harmony’s donation page here.
I gave a donation in my brother-in-law’s name to Freeland. Freeland is an international NGO dedicated to stopping both human trafficking and wildlife trafficking across the world. In Thailand they run a unique “Surviving Together” program in the Khao Yai/Dong Phayayen forest complex that aims to help forest rangers, reformed poachers, and the local community work together to protect their natural resources. Their work there includes community education, livelihood support, ranger support, and wildlife monitoring.
I made a donation in the name of my other sister (a farmer) to Lilok Farm. Lilok Farm (Sakahang Lilok) is a small organic farm that models sustainable living in a rural area in the Philippines. They say “in Sakahang Lilok we care for the land and the land cares for us.” Through sustainable agriculture, zero-waste living and community programs that expose people to the rhythms of nature, Sakahang Lilok hopes to “re-discover a simple and good life” that can help us learn how to build a more fruitful, fulfilling lifestyle that takes care of God’s creation around us.
I gave a donation in the name of my mother (a devout Catholic and former park ranger) to A Rocha Kenya. A Rocha is an international Christian organization that works to take care of the environment and community sustainability together. They have programs in numerous countries, I chose to donate to their Kenya program where they focus on community education, ecotourism, ecological study and land conservation.
You can donate to A Rocha here.