Philanthropy in Asia Summit 2014: Polluted Asia

Photo: Philanthropy in Asia Summit 2014

It was a pleasure to moderate a panel discussion at the ‘Philanthropy in Asia Summit 2014′ on a ‘Polluted Asia’ on 21st October 2014. The summary of the discussion has been reproduced from here

The panelists were Todd Stevens from WCS, Von Hernandez from Greenpeace, Lynda Hong from Singapore Environment Council and Suzy Hutomo from The Body Shop, Indonesia.


Borderless environmental and sustainability challenges are stumped by the localised nature of current solutions. Ranging from polluted air and water, to long-term impact on sustainability, what constructive and realistic collaborative actions can be taken to preserve resources for our future generations?


Session Notes

During this breakout session, a few key takeaways are summarised here:

The current imbalance between consumerism and biodiversity constitutes a lack of awareness and support for environmental conservation in Asia. This results from the transportation of a dirty development model from the North to the South.

The planet should always come first, as our planet supports people and society; without the planet, where is the profit?

A framework for change is needed in terms of worldviews, institutions and technologies. A model of sustainable development should be highlighted, respecting the environmental rights and heritage of current and future generations.

Tripartite cooperation is required between the government, the public and NGOs, essential to helping our environment.

Currently, our borderless environmental challenges are still met with seemingly localised solutions. These solutions can take business steps to make their impact bigger, merging economic development and conservation.

Philanthropy bridges the gap between the current programmes to help create a future where investors can make substantial impacts.

It was also mentioned that raising environmental awareness would create new and innovative ideas. In fact, early childhood education has the greatest impact on environmental awareness. Examples of such education include green awards and the Envision Campaign in Singapore to help educate Singapore’s youth to create care responsibility and ownership of the environment.

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