This highly effective group helps to address the sadly overlooked problem of life threatening pollution in the developing world. This is a problem on the same scale as other, far better known concerns - malaria, AIDS, and others - but receives only a fraction of the resources. It is also a problem that disproportionately effects those least in a position to help themselves - children and the poor in particular. Leveraging donor dollars with expert volunteers, development bank and national funds, and use of local labor, this group delivers an impressive return on contributions in terms of bettering lives. Further, Blacksmith solutions not only clean up existing sites, but also seek longer term solutions to the economic conditions with drove the actions causing the pollution in the first place. This is an organization I'm proud to be associated with.
The Blacksmith Institute is doing important, cutting edge work identifying and promoting the cleanup of dangerous environmental hazards that endanger human health. Sharing information, building networks, promoting individual projects all over the world, Blacksmith and it's head, Richard Fuller, are, step-by-step, working to make the world cleaner and safer. It is incredibly be exciting to be part (even in a small way) of an organization that I am certain will continue to grow into one of the world's leading environmental NGOs.
As a founding Board Member of the Blacksmith Institute I have watched the organization grow over a decade. On two levels Blacksmith is an impressive organization. First, Blacksmith is the only organization I know that is gathering information on polluted places around the world, and setting priorities for their mitigation. Using a filter that looks at the human health impacts of the toxic wastes found at a site, Blacksmith has developed an objective filter for both identifying and cleaning up the global equivalent of SuperFund sites. But Blacksmith doesn't stop there -- they actually go out and catalyze the clean up of these sites, working on the ground with local partners, governments, and industry to do the right thing. Small, efficient, and driven, Blacksmith created this niche and is rapidly growing to fill it.