Coastal communities across the tropical belt of the planet bear most of the burden from climate change. The rapid loss of natural ecosystems and their protective value is increasing their vulnerability. Mangrove ecosystems save US$65 billion a year in avoided losses due to storms; they sequester four times more carbon dioxide than terrestrial forests, and can double the incomes of local communities by increasing marine biodiversity. But 50% of all mangroves have been lost globally, with the fastest rate of deforestation in Asia than any other type of forest.
UBS Optimus Foundation and Earth Security are developing the Mangrove 40 (M40) Initiative – which connects the 40 locations around the world that concentrate the majority of remaining mangroves on Earth. It proposes an ambitious opportunity to build a cost-effective solution to coastal protection that is particularly well suited to Asia, while providing an enormous carbon sequestration opportunity.
The M40 Initiative is an action alliance of philanthropists, governments, companies, investors and non-governmental organisations to scale innovative financing for mangrove restoration projects at scale. Philanthropists’ support will be used to create innovative funding alliances, identify and build a pipeline of more than 500 nature-based investment projects in key M40 locations, and develop an investment mechanism that by 2024 enables private and public funders to collaborate on projects across the entire M40.
To build resilience in cities, we must first understand what makes cities vulnerable – for many, it is the current linear system that drives increasing greenhouse gas emissions, ocean pollution, and food waste. This has dangerous implications for our health and the health of our planet.
Cities are now prepared to move from strategy to action, implementing circular economy initiatives at scale. Resilient Cities Network (R-Cities), the world’s leading urban resilience organisation present in more than 100 cities, 40 countries, and 6 continents, has a proven track record of accelerating resilience solutions and action.
The Accelerating Circular and Resilient Cities programme presents a unique opportunity for up to nine member cities in emerging countries to lead the transition from a linear to a circular economy, by targeting three key opportunity areas: Circular Food System, Circularity in the Built Environment, and Circular Plastics. The member cities will work with a global alliance of partners and champion cities with experience in transformative circularity to enhance their projects and support implementation by leveraging on blended finance.
Ultimately, pursuing the circularity agenda will build resilience in cities by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, creating green jobs, and increasing equity for all.
COVID-19 has led to the single largest threat to ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education in modern times. The World Bank is calling the global pandemic “the worst crisis to education and learning in a century.” There is a critical need to build capacity in local systems to support learning recovery for teachers, families and children to ensure education endures – whether children are learning in the classroom, at home and throughout the transition back to school.
Room to Read has developed online learning resources to support teachers, families and students, which nurtures both continued learning during school closures and return to classroom learning.
We seek to share these tools within education systems across Indonesia, India, South Africa and Vietnam with a view to scaling rapidly to other countries through the following initiatives:
Our world faces a dire education emergency: COVID-19 disrupted learning for 1.6 billion students and 800 million risk leaving school without the basic skills needed to thrive. This generation could lose USD$10 trillion in future earnings. While technology has evolved rapidly in the last decade, education has not kept pace over the past century. Robust evidence shows personalised learning can improve learning outcomes dramatically, but these approaches seem impossible in poor, overcrowded schools.
High Touch High Tech for All (HTHT) is a global initiative focused on delivering personalised learning to disadvantaged learners by harnessing the unique strengths of teachers (High Touch) and the power of Artificial Intelligence (High Tech). AI-driven adaptive content and assessment develops students’ foundational skills so teachers, equipped with real-time learning data, can nurture higher-order, 21st century skills.
The Education Commission and country partners will work in Cambodia, Indonesia, and the Philippines to pilot and evaluate HTHT approaches in schools and teacher training institutes, reaching 20,000 children and 1,200 teachers and school leaders. A feasibility assessment will also be undertaken in Ghana to adapt the HTHT approach to an African context.
Supported by the HTHT for All Global Consortium, the project will catalyse national consortia of ecosystem players in each country to generate and share evidence, and unlock new financing and partnerships for scale.
The COVID-19 outbreak has highlighted the lack of synergy between science and policy across the world; limited and uneven laboratory, research and scientific capacity has hindered timely access to context specific data across the region. This has exacerbated inequities in response and access to critical tools and fit-for-purpose countermeasures. In response to this opportunity, there has been a surge of action within regions to rapidly develop capacity and infrastructure for pathogen genomics, not only to respond to COVID-19 but also to build networks that utilise genomic surveillance as part of their public health objectives.
The Call to Action for Pandemic Security aims to expand an integrated network of scientific centres for pandemic preparednessand prevention anchored within regional and global coordinating mechanisms that links critical national surveillance capabilities with innovations in pathogen discovery and real time decision analytics.
Through this Call to Action, The Rockefeller Foundation’s Pandemic Prevention Institute will catalyse and strengthen the impact of:
The pandemic revealed that health security demands prevention and preparedness. Without better strategies, all, particularly vulnerable communities, face unhealthy outcomes. We must expand public health training beyond clinical services to critical but under-engaged fields such as housing, food security, education, and mental health to ensure emergency readiness.
NUS and Johns Hopkins (JHU) look to the successful Bloomberg American Health Initiative (BAHI) as a model to build capacity and real solutions. Established by Michael Bloomberg, BAHI has trained 250+ fellows, developed collaborations with 220+ organisations and supported 50+ research/policy projects.
The ASEAN Health Initiative will train up to 30 emerging leaders annually, representing each ASEAN country and prioritising leaders from non-traditional health organisations. Students will pursue stackable credits in the United States and Singapore to obtain a certificate, focusing on central challenges identified by a steering committee. An annual ASEAN Summit will convene leaders and their organisations to promote sustainable, pragmatic interventions. Eventually, the initiative will yield Professorships and Challenge Grants to streamline and extend reach.
Initial commitments from the JHU BAHI programme will support curriculum development, Summit planning, and training.