Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises and COP28 Special Representative for Business & Philanthropy Image Credit: Supplied

During the 2023 Philanthropy Asia Summit (PAS), themed ‘Climate Crossroads: Pathways for Action,’ Singapore’s Temasek Trust launched the Philanthropy Asia Alliance (PAA) to serve as a dedicated platform to build capabilities, capacities and communities in the philanthropic sector, and harness multi-sector partnerships to catalyse Asian solutions for global challenges. The PAA comprises over 80 global members and partners from the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, with over US$1 billion pledged towards the alliance.

Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises and COP28 Special Representative for Business & Philanthropy, delivered a speech during the launch of the PAA, sharing his insights on the importance of a structured philanthropic ecosystem, and the opportunities for philanthropic intervention in climate and nature. Other notable speakers included Desmond Kuek, CEO of Temasek Trust, Lim Boon Heng, Chairman of Philanthropy Asia Alliance, Helen Mountford, President and CEO of ClimateWorks Foundation, and Mark Dalio, Founder and Creative Director of OceanX.

A founding member of the Philanthropy Asia Alliance’s Impact Action Council, Badr Jafar stressed the vital role of philanthropic infrastructure and networks to boost impact, particularly across global growth markets, where more than US$5 trillion of intergenerational wealth transfer is expected to take place in the coming 7 years. He said: "Enabling infrastructure and networks not only link philanthropic communities of individuals, families, and institutions, they also connect them with other stakeholders, including governments, multilateral organizations, and businesses."

Jafar highlighted the importance of adopting technology in philanthropy, making it more accessible and efficient, with the next generation of philanthropist reshaping the practice of giving by demanding more hands-on approach and embracing new technologies to achieve greater impact. He added that digital platforms like Hasanah have been created to empower Muslim donors to identify organisations with proven track records of delivering positive outcomes.

In his closing remarks, Badr Jafar, in his capacity as COP28 Special Representative for Business & Philanthropy, and Chair of the upcoming COP28 Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum, addressed the crucial role that philanthropy must play in climate and nature outcomes, with current levels of philanthropic capital deployed in the Global South less than 2% of overall funding. Jafar stated, “The COP28 Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum represents a critical turning point in our collective efforts to drive action, to accelerate green technology transfer, de-risk green investments through blended finance, foster entrepreneurial solutions for climate and nature challenges, and support climate-vulnerable countries in building a more resilient and sustainable future.”

Launched in 2021, the annual Philanthropy Asia Summit serves as a collaborative platform to convene and connect global and regional philanthropists to catalyse partnerships. It aims to activate multi-sector stakeholders and design Calls to Action to collectively address societal challenges in achieving greater impact and common good. Philanthropy Asia Summit 2023 featured Showcase Calls to Action that aim to address issues centred around three mandates – Climate & Nature, Holistic & Inclusive Education, and Global & Public Health. More than 300 people attended the event, including alliance partners, members, philanthropists, foundations, and family offices from over 16 countries.