Promoting equity and environmental conservation in Asia
ADM Capital Foundation is an impact driven foundation focused on making change in Asia. Through research, we identify environmental challenges then work towards solutions across five key areas: marine ecology, water security, air quality, wildlife trade and forestry conservation finance.
We see all our programmes as inter-related and work towards “unsiloing” how we approach environmental challenges, from the mountains to the oceans. We believe it is impossible to think only of air or water pollution, about protecting our forests, our oceans and their biodiversity, without considering also the development challenges we face in Asia. We must consider the trade-offs involved in balancing sustainable growth and conservation, as well as how to finance the change that needs to happen.
Fundamentally, the challenges we face lead us to the biggest of our time: climate change and it is only by redefining risk for businesses, indeed by taking risk ourselves, by disrupting current models of philanthropy and pushing for business unusual that we will have a chance of tackling this monumental, existential threat.
Until recently, ADMCF also had a Children and Youth at Risk (CAR) Programme but given the environmental degradation Asia has seen over the past two decades of rapid growth, the relative lack of funding for environmental philanthropy, we have chosen now to concentrate our efforts in the environmental sector and have consequently reduced our CAR commitment to four core partners.
In 2006, the partners of investment advisor, ADM Capital, established the Foundation recognising the need for innovative and replicable models of funding for impact. To achieve this, we aim to foster sustainable growth in our local partners with core grants rather than simply back short-term projects. ADMCF also provides an organisation not only with funding but also specific and relevant organisational support.
The ADM Capital Foundation has been granted tax exempt status under Section 88 of the Hong Kong Government Inland Revenue Ordinance and as such, we have charitable status. We also have received 501(c) (3) charitable status in the United States.
What we Do
ADM Capital Foundation works with local NGOs, academics, policy makers and companies and other philanthropic donors, either through our core programmes or through initiatives we incubate. We are flexible in the ways we work but always to clear objectives we believe will lead to systemic change.
We believe foundations have a role to play in bringing together NGOS and other philanthropic donors to work efficiently towards clear change objectives. Often, we see that organisations, academics or others are working in silos and that by collaborating, or at least working loosely together, they might achieve more.
To offer strategic funding and other support to organisations that work towards environmental health and conservation in Asia in a manner that is sustainable and sensitive to local cultures.
ADM Capital Foundation supports organisations that work to protect the environment, considering the development needs of local populations.
We are committed to the protection of marine and terrestrial biodiversity, the mitigation of climate change and to combating environmental degradation in the region. We aim to work with a diversity of partners to have a significant and sustainable impact.
Where we see an environmental challenge that is not being addressed, we initiate and incubate initiatives to fill that gap or provide support to a new effort created by others. We believe that foundations are in the unique position of being able to take risk to foster change and follow that course ourselves.
Regardless of whether we care for the environment, we have come to a point where water risks affect us all – as businesses, as investors and ultimately as individuals.
After several years of working with Beijing-Based Institute for Public and Environmental Affairs, we started China Water Risk, a non-profit initiative dedicated to highlighting water risks.
Our objective is to show businesses, investors and individuals the ‘Big Picture’, help them adjust for these fundamental risks and by doing so, foster a more efficient and responsible use of China’s water resources.
In Asia we have some of the richest, most diverse and productive fisheries in the world but our seafood resources are declining fast due to excessive and destructive fishing practices as well as coastal development. Hong Kong has a responsibility as the 10th largest importer of seafood globally, by value.
Having fished out our own waters, we now rely on imports to supply 90 % of our needs. In the 1950s, we imported only 10% of the seafood we ate. We must be responsible in our consumption of seafood if we are to sustain the resource for our children yet we are not.
In September 2016, we launched ChooseRightToday.org as the nexus for our sustainable seafood campaign. The site contains important information on what it means to purchase sustainably, eco labels and species we can still consume, as well as those we should avoid. It also covers the major branded supermarkets and a wide selection of restaurants, educating the consumer on where to buy and eat sustainable seafood.
To halve deforestation globally, an estimated US$45 billion is needed annually. Indonesia, home to some of the most biologically diverse forests in the world, the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases (largely from land conversion and other forest burning) and where 50% of the population live on US$2 a day, is of course a critical target. The country alone needs an estimated $10 billion by 2020.
This includes smallholder/community development investments to provide income to rural communities to intensify agriculture on existing land and remove pressure from forests via expansion. Furthermore, Indonesia is committed to a 29% reduction in its carbon emissions and an estimated 87% of this will need to come from reducing emissions from land conversion and other forest burning.
ADMCF and ADM Capital along with partners UN Environment Programme (UNEP), The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and BNP Paribas in October last year launched the Tropical Landscape Finance Facility (TLFF) to provide a simple, scalable route to generate long-term, private sector finance to projects in Indonesia.
Pipeline Projects aim to help reduce emissions from land conversion, provide support to rural livelihoods, offer access to energy for off-grid communities. Expectations are for a commercial return to investors. Although it is a purely private sector initiative, TLFF has received considerable support from the Government of Indonesia (GOI). Consequently, we believe TLFF will provide a replicable and scalable model for stimulating private sector finance into projects with development and conservation objectives.
Hong Kong and its residents face many urban and nature conservation-related challenges, ranging from air quality to consumption of endangered species, threats to our biodiversity in country parks to urban planning that often doesn’t take people into consideration.
These issues frustrate many residents, who don’t feel they have a voice or know how to connect with others with similar concerns. We started SupportHK in 2014 as Hong Kong’s first environmental petition site to educate, give people that voice and help them meet others with similar concerns.
Whilst the fashion industry is much loved for its creativity and its freedom of expression, it also has been responsible for negative environmental impact, particularly in China, which produces more than one-third of the world’s clothing yet where regulation and enforcement are lax.
Apart from excess textile waste, the (fast) fashion industry makes extensive use of water, energy and raw materials throughout the garment supply chain. At the same time, China has become the producer to the world and in return has absorbed much of our pollution.
Redress is a Hong Kong based NGO with a mission to promote environmental sustainability in Asia’s fashion industry by reducing textile waste, pollution, water and energy consumption. The organisation works to achieve its mission by promoting sustainable fashion shows, exhibitions, competitions, seminars, research, creating certifications and via media outreach. We have provided strategic and other support as well as office space to Redress since its inception as Green 2 Greener in 2007.
The statistics on sex offences against children in India are grim. A 2007 report on child sex abuse by the Department of Women and Child Welfare estimates that 53% of children have suffered sexual assault but the real number is believed to be much higher. Despite this, there is little clarity around how to prevent sexual offences against children and how to navigate the law amidst a culture of silence on the topic and a rising number of crimes.
We established the Aarambh India initiative in 2013 with Mumbai partner, Prerana, which has worked since 1986 to end second-generation sex work and protect women and children from trafficking. Aarambhindia.org is a centralised platform that partners with local organisation and demonstrates innovative child protection programmes for the underprivileged, working through all areas of response.
The website shares knowledge with individuals and groups across India in an effort to break the silence on child sexual abuse. Most recently, Aarambh introduced India’s first reporting portal to flag and help take down images and videos of child sexual abuse found online. Launched in September 2016 in partnership with UK based Internet Watch Foundation and with Women and Child Welfare Minister, Maneka Gandhi present, the reporting portal is supported by Facebook, Google, local ISP providers.
We are driven to push for systemic change across our portfolio of programmes. We work to see a cleaner and more secure water supply, better air quality, a halt to the free flow of wildlife product. We work to help build a public that is more conscious of the type of seafood eaten so we don’t consume more than our share of the world’s marine resource. We want us all to consider carefully what and how we consume so the resources of our one planet will be sufficient for future generations.
Debra Tan, CWR Lead
Emily Botsford, Environment
Feng Hu, CWR
Hubert Thieriot, CWR
Bertha Lo-Hofford, Media
Kathleen Ho, Bloom
Kelly Chan, SupportHK
Linda Wen, Finance
Lisa Genasci, CEO
Woody Chan, CWR
Sophie Le Clue, Environment Lead
Sam Inglis, Research
Wei Si'eu Woo, Marketing
Yuanchao Xu, CWR
Vikki Ip, Office Manager
Stanley Shea, Bloom
Dawn McGregor, CWR
Photography by: Sasikumar Ramachandran, Stan Shea