Kicking off the ADM Capital Foundation’s second decade, we launch a new website at ADMCF.org that reflects our narrowed focus on Asia’s substantial environmental challenges.
Over the past ten years, we have worked with dozens of NGO partners to help support some of the region’s most marginalised children to better lives, we have pushed for action to reduce air pollution, to cut consumption of shark fin and protect our oceans, stem the wildlife trade, protect forests, build knowledge and action around China’s water crisis. We have worked to see that the appropriate research informs the right sort of change.
But this year represents a shift from our dual focus on children at risk and the environment to where we feel the need is greatest: environmental protection.
With the shift of global manufacturing to Asia, the subsequent sustained economic growth, the region now has a middle class and in many instances this middle class is stepping up to help support education and protection of the region’s poorest children. Government institutions are taking up some of the services provided by NGOS in their absence. Regional philanthropy is picking up pace, largely in support of education and child protection.
On the other hand, this two-decade shift of production of the world’s goods to Asia amid lax local regulation and enforcement has come at unprecedented environmental cost. While we enjoy cheap goods, clothes in particular produced at unsustainably low prices, Asia shoulders the environmental burden of our excessive consumption. Global climate change, ocean acidification, the consequences of our excessive lifestyles, however, affect us all. No one can hide.
Globally, we are living as though we have three planets in terms of resource consumption. We must find ways to live more sustainably, to accommodate a world population that is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050.
Philanthropy is not the only answer but it can support essential research, spread knowledge, seed ideas, push for thought change in consumers and action from governments, all of which is critical if we are to survive this sixth age of mass extinction.
Yet only an estimated 2 to 3 percent of global philanthropy finds its way into addressing our urgent environmental challenges.
Thus, we felt ADMCF’s resources were best spent striving toward: cleaner air; improved and secure water sources; forest protection balanced with low carbon rural development; better managed fisheries and sustainable consumption of our ocean resources; improved regulation and enforcement to protect endangered wildlife.
At the same time, we are exploring sustainable business models, a circular economy and the finance that must underpin all.
Our approach is multifaceted and always backed by research across our interlinked programs to show the importance of protecting our climate, our air, our water, our oceans, our biodiversity and habitats, from the mountains to the oceans.
Collaboration remains the key. None of our work can be done alone, without your support, without the energy of our many incredible NGO partners, our funding partners, our pro bono supporters. The challenges we face are substantial but in our short ten years we can see systemic change, we can see that it is possible to generate lasting impact.