“United Action for a Sustainable Planet”: East-West Philanthropists Summit IV was Closed Successfull

DATA:2018-01-18  Views:107

Editorial note

On January 12th, local time, the “East-West Philanthropists Summit IV” funded by our Foundation was closed successfully in Hawaii. Mr. Niu Gensheng, Founder and Honorary President of our Foundation, attended the summit with Wang Yonghong (Executive Director) and An Yaqiang (Deputy Secretary-General). Mr. Niu delivered a speech at the welcome dinner as Co-Chairman of this summit, gave a keynote speech on “Harmonious Earth + New Concept of Ecological Civilization” in the sector of “East-West Philanthropists’ Future Action Plan on Sustainable Development”, and participated in “Global Ocean Protection Action Alliance Initiative” press conference as chairman of the issue. The United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for South-South Cooperation, Jorge Chediek, and Founder of “Ceeds of Peace” and half sister of the 44th President of the United States Barack Obama, Maya, rewarded Niu Gensheng and others with “Dream Maker”. An Yaqiang, Deputy Secretary-General of our Foundation, participated in the discussion on “Combined Action Initiative on Climate Change and Human Destiny Community”


On January 12th, East-West Philanthropists Summit IV was closed successfully in Hawaii. This summit was jointly hosted by CGPI and East-West Philanthropy Forum with the theme of “United Action for a Sustainable Planet”. Nearly 100 philanthropists from all over the world held vigorous discussions on marine protection, climate change, sustainable cities and communities, green finance, and impact investing, etc. to make new contributions to sustainable development through joint actions.


This summit specially responded to the call of Chinese President Xi Jinping to “solidly establish the concept of socialist ecological civilization, promote the formation of a new pattern of modernization construction with harmonious development between man and nature, create a good production and living environment for the people, and contribute to global ecological security” as well as the century promises of major countries in Paris Agreement to curb climate change, planned to formulate East-West Joint Action Framework for Sustainable Development”, and took the operation model of East-West Sustainable Development United Fund (UF) to guide and support more green investment and promote the world’s philanthropists to cooperate for globally joint action in global climate change and nature conservation.

The summit consisted of 4 released East-West Philanthropists Sustainable Development Joint Actions including East-West Philanthropists Sustainable Development Future Action Plan and Marine Protection & “Global Ocean Protection Action Alliance Initiative” press conference, Joint Action Initiative on Climate Change and Human Destiny Community, Sustainable Development of Green Finance and Impact Investing, and Sustainable Development of Community Rejuvenation.


As important achievements of this summit, east and west philanthropists jointly initiated the establishment of Global Ocean Protection Alliance; Qiaonyu Foundation and United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation jointly initiated QIAO United Action Plan to cope with climate change and protect nature, and hosted UNOSSC for implementation; Lu Dezhi (President of Board of Huamin Charity Foundation) held publishing ceremony of the “Capital and Sharing” trilogy in English. And Maya, Founder of “Ceeds of Peace” and half sister of the 44th President of the United States Barack Obama, read out Obama’s letter to the summit.


Niu Gensheng (Founder and Honorary President of Lao Niu Foundation, Founder of Mengniu Group), He Qiaonyu (Founder and President of Qiaonyu Foundation, President of Orient Landscape Investment Holdings Co., Ltd.), Wang Shi (Founder of Vanke Co., Ltd, President of Board of Vanke Foundation), Lu Dezhi (President of Board of Huamin Charity Foundation, author of On Shared Civilization), Dong Fangjun (Chairman of Dong Fangjun Charity Foundation and Chairman of Oriental Huiquan Financial Holding Group), Wang Zhenyao (President of CGPI, Secretary-General of East-West Philanthropy Forum), Soichiro Fukutake (Chairman of the Board of Fukutake Foundation, Honorary Advisor of Benesse Corporation), Thomas Kaplan (Founder and Chairman of Panthera), Richard Sneider (CEO of One World Star Holdings International Ltd.), Adam Sweidan (Founder and Chairman of the Board of Synchronicity Earth), Marvin Marshall & PJ Marshall (Co-Founders of Restore the Earth Foundation), Jorge Chediek (the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for South-South Cooperation, Director of United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation), David Sandalow (former Assistant Secretary for Policy & International Affairs at the United States Department of Energy, Co-Director of the Energy and Environment Concentration at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University), David Lassner (President of University of Hawaii), Ruth Gates (Director of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawaii), Richard Vuylsteke (President of East-West Center) and principals of nearly 30 foundations including Beijing Dali Charity Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Obama Foundation, Paulson Institute, Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, and the Nature Conservancy as well as other guests attended this summit. Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., as the sponsor of sustainable development conference affair system of the summit, supported green paperless conferences.


Action-Oriented New Charity Action

Bring New Hope for Achieving Sustainable Development Goals


Since 2014, East-West Philanthropy Forum has successfully held three annual philanthropists summits and a series of special summits on sustainable development, and its predecessor was China-US Strategic Philanthropy (CUSP) established in 2010. The forum takes “charity changes the world and shapes the future” as the vision and devotion to “cohering global leaders, promoting joint actions, expanding charitable influences, and coping with social challenges” as mission, aiming to unite east and west philanthropists to create a high-end action platform where practical research, public-private partnerships, and educational exchanges can be used to solve social problems in many aspects including climate change and sustainable development, philanthropic finance and social innovation, women and youth leadership building, and family and culture inheritance, etc.


As an important platform for joint actions of eastern and western philanthropists, philanthropists from countries such as China and the United States have reached a series of strategic cooperation actions on this platform. One of the important achievements of this summit was that eastern and western philanthropists jointly initiated the establishment of Global Ocean Protection Action Alliance. 


Since establishment, East-West Philanthropy Forum has been advocating and promoting the concept of action and more action & alliance & more alliance in east and west charity circles, and Global Ocean Protection Action Alliance was exactly the latest joint action that was taken to cope with challenges in the field of marine conservation, connecting east and west philanthropists to jointly implement great actions of saving the ocean with the greatest enthusiasm, shared spirit, cooperative attitude, and flexible mechanism.


Wang Zhenyao, CGPI President, stated in Global Ocean Protection Action Alliance Initiative that ocean is the largest and most precious ecological environment in which human and other species depend on. We jointly appealed ocean-caring and ocean-loving charitable philanthropists, non-profit organizations, entrepreneurs, scientists, artists and all those concerning about the oceans, human beings, and the future of the earth to work together to protect our ocean.


The alliance will set the conditions for joining, and rotating chairman and members will coordinate actions together. Member organizations will cooperate and act in unilateral, bilateral, and multilateral ways. And Permanent Marine Protection Forum and the Secretariat will be established in Hawaii for annual conference and exchanges to promote cooperation.


He Qiaonyu, Founder and President of Qiaonyu Foundation, pointed out at the summit “nature is changing rapidly and will not leave us too much time to learn and prepare. We must learn and act while we learn. We hope that through mass selection of global projects we can find the best institutions and the best projects to slow down environmental crisis”.

At present, global charity has realized the urgency of marine conservation, and charitable organizations in various countries are improving exchanges to expect to invest resources strategically and formulate effective solutions. During East-West Philanthropists Summit, United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation and Qiaonyu Foundation jointly initiated QIAO United Action Plan to cope with climate change and protect nature. It is reported that within the next five years (2018 to 2023), QIAO Plan will provide a total of RMB 85 million as donation in the first phase to support developing countries in strengthening their actions and cooperation in coping with climate change and nature conservation.


Jorge Chediek, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for South-South Cooperation and Director of UNOSSC, said at press conference the QIAO Plan will bridge international cooperation to address climate change and to enhance nature conservation via strengthened climate partnership of the South”. He further pointed out that the South-South climate actions and partnerships supported by the QIAO Plan would contribute to the implementation of the Secretary-General’s Climate Change Engagement Strategy (2017 to 2021).


Like the saying of Wang Shi, President of Board of Vanke Foundation, East-West Philanthropy Forum is an action-oriented charity platform, which has won recognition and praise from Chinese and foreign philanthropists for its diligence in coping with climate change and sustainable development, and will surely attract more heavyweight philanthropists.


Thomas Kaplan, famous protector of big cats in the world and Founder of Panthera, said that the purpose of preserving big cats was actually to restore the local ecosystem and ultimately benefit the local community residents; philanthropists should “achieve great love by forgetting ego; and China has shown more leadership in coping with climate change and clean energy.



Wang Shi, Founder of Vanke and President of Board of Vanke Foundation, shared his feelings and experience of attending international conferences on climate change since 2009, and said that more and more Chinese entrepreneurs have taken joint actions with Chinese governments at all levels and philanthropists to protect the environment and achieve sustainable development, and the importance of public education would become increasingly prominent. The Marshall couple, founders of Restore the Earth Foundation, believed that they were starting from scratch in giving back to the community through focusing on the four most important things: health, opportunity, philanthropy, and the environment; restoring the earth was a long process and was more challenging than simply setting up nature reserves; and like Yangtze River which is the most revered river to the Chinese people, the Mississippi River is also like a mother to many Americans, and “Chinese and American philanthropists think alike”.


Progress of 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda is Below Expectation   

Urgent Need for New Partnerships to Increase Momentum

According to A Report on East-West Philanthropys Response to Support for Sustainable Development Efforts released at this summit, the sustainable development agenda has features including universality, attention to implementation measures, emphasis on partnership, and close correlation to climate change, etc. 2030 sustainable development agenda covers a wide range of content in many areas. The establishment of 17 goals and 169 sub-goals has gone through a relatively complex process  whether achieving economic development, or achieving social inclusion, or achieving environmental sustainability, all are very challenging.


At present, progress of 2030 sustainable development agenda is below expectation, and there is urgent need for new partnerships to increase momentum. Neither national governments nor the United Nations have all the resources or capabilities needed to achieve these goals, and we need to establish a policy-making and enforcement mechanism with the participation of multiple stakeholders in the world. Both the global data and the latest data in China show that charity circle has made active contributions to promotion of sustainable development goals and financial support.


Lu Dezhi, President of Board of Huamin Charity Foundation, gave a wonderful speech for the publishing ceremony of the “Capital and Sharing” trilogy in English. Especially, he proposed the theory of capital, sharing and civilization development based on the core concepts of capital spirit, sharing, capital and sharing, charity in 21st century, philanthropic family, and shared civilization, etc., devoting to modern charity theory innovation and practice exploration. This was appreciated by the attended guests.


Soichiro Fukutake, Chairman of the Board of Fukutake Foundation, Honorary Advisor of Benesse Corporation, shared Naoshima Model that used art to build a happy community, saying that modern art was a powerful weapon against the problems of rural decay, he had been working with Chinese philanthropist Dong Fangjun to replicate Japanese-proven-successful Naoshima Model in Taohua Island in Shandong. The most noteworthy achievement of Naoshima Model was to transform an island with industrial pollution into an environmentally friendly, low-carbon green island by art and design, echoing the environmental protection trend in the past half century to some extent. At present, climate change, ecological imbalance and other phenomena have caused many people to hope for changes in development model.


Dong Fangjun, Chairman of Dong Fangjun Charity Foundation and Chairman of Oriental Huiquan Financial Holding Group as well as a Giving Pledge pledger from Chinese mainland, said that ecological civilization was an important part of human destiny community, hoped to take reference of Naoshima Model that used art and culture to achieve community building to explore a “art everywhere & happy everyone rural revitalization way with local characteristics of rural China. In Dong Fangjun’s view, the process of increasingly urbanization in China has caused many rural villages to become empty nests and former mountains and rivers to turn into declining place for left-behind elderly and children, losing former vitality. The country has always been expecting to re-inject passion into silent countryside, and there is much to do for non-governmental charitable organizations, and promoting ‘art to activate countryside is a great cause of creativity.”


Niu Gensheng and He Qiaonyu, Co-Chairmen of East-West Philanthropy Forum, called for east and west philanthropists to unite and act together and make more and renewed contributions to the implementation of sustainable development.

In order to pay tribute to the east and west philanthropists who actively responded to sustainable development, the Forum particularly invited Jorge Chediek, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for South-South Cooperation, and Maya, Founder of “Ceeds of Peace” and half sister of the 44th President of the United States Barack Obama, to reward “Global Sustainability Leader” to Wang Shi, Founder of Vanke Co., Ltd. and President of Board of Vanke Foundation, and Lu Dezhi, Chairman with Huamin Charity Foundation; Pioneers for the Planet to Dong Fangjun, Chairman of Dong Fangjun Charity Foundation and Chairman of Oriental Huiquan Financial Holding Group, Richard Sneider, CEO of One World Star Holdings International Ltd., Adam Sweidan, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Synchronicity Earth, and Marvin Marshall & PJ Marshall, Co-Founders of Restore the Earth Foundation; “Catalysts for Action” to Thomas Kaplan, Founder and Chairman of Panthera, and Soichiro Fukutake, Chairman of the Board of Fukutake Foundation and Honorary Advisor of Benesse Corporation; “Dream Makers to Niu Gensheng, Founder and Honorary President of Lao Niu Foundation and Founder of Mengniu Group, He Qiaonyu, Founder and President of Qiaonyu Foundation and President of Orient Landscape Investment Holdings Co., Ltd., and Dang Yanbao, President of Board of Ningxia Yanbao Charity Foundation and President of Ningxia Baofeng Group; and Legends of Hope to Xie Zhenhua, China’s Special Representative on Climate Change and Deputy Director of Population, Resources and Environment Committee of the CPPCC, Gordon Moore, Co-Founder and Chairman of Intel Corporation and Co-Founder of Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and , Earl Bakken, Founder of Medtronic, Inc.


Maya read out Obama’s letter to the summit: “My sister, Maya has told me about the high-level meetings you have convened, and the effective partnerships you have formed for education, the environment, and a safer tomorrow. These are issues of great importance to me as well, thank you for your efforts to protect the environment, promote sustainable energy, and build healthy communities. Your work to increase understanding and collaborative problem solving, engage in social entrepreneurship and green finance, and encourage young leaders is vital to our shared future.