While many of us in the developed western world do not see many first hand areas where we can help to invest in and improve the environment and the climate work that is being done in other parts of the world, we can still find organizations and opportunities to support these endeavors. There are many things that need to be considered before sending money however, so below is a compiled list of things that you should be aware of before you decide that this is the organization to support.
The first thing that you really need to look into is just what work the organization is doing around the world. For example, if I was looking into supporting Rimba Raya reserve in Indonesia, I would look to see just what they are accomplishing in that area. This particular organization is working to ensure the natural habitat for the local species of orangutan is not decimated with deforestation, and they are also providing clean water and job opportunities for the local communities. They can quantify what they are providing and prove it, which is the mark of a successful organization and one that you would want to be considering for your support.
Another area that you need to look into is what their certifications are. For the same example, Rimba Raya reserve in Indonesia, the organization is certified with the REDD, VCS, and CCBA certifications. That means that there are other, outside governing bodies that have taken a thorough look at the business model and plan of the organization, and they have audited everything that they are doing and trying to do, and have found that they meet the high and strict standards that are required for those certifications. This is important, because it means that they have been vetted in the international community, and that means that they are actually doing what they have promised to do. When there are certifications or other titles attached to the organization and their work, it is a very good indicator that they can be trusted with your money and your support, and that they in fact need it to continue doing the good work they are doing around the world.
Finally, it is really important to look into what the community surrounding the reserve or organization thinks of their work in the region. For Rimba Raya, the local communities are able to enjoy a steady stream of income generating work opportunities. They now have access to clean drinking water, and clean burning efficient stoves for cooking. These two things alone have highly elevated the quality of life in the region, and enabled the people to be healthy and strong enough to continue their efforts to build a healthy economy and income generating business opportunities. The reserve has successfully planted income generating crops in a manner that does not negatively affect the local and natural plants, which has created a permanent income stream for the local community. In the end, it is this type of future that is important to support, and these types of organizations that are in a place to do the most and the best with your support.