The Asia Foundation promotes the active engagement of civil society, government, private sector, and other relevant stakeholders to advance progressive change on major environmental challenges. We work in three areas:
- Disaster risk management and climate change adaptation
- Climate change mitigation and green growth
- Natural resources management
Recognizing the integrated nature of environmental challenges, our Environment work intersects with other Foundation program areas including governance and law, economic development, and women's empowerment. Read the Environment program overview.
The Foundation employs a systemic approach to environmental issues, informed by a deep understanding of the political, social, and economic dynamics that shape governance reform. We work across sectors and boundaries, with unique capacities in multi-stakeholder engagement; public participation, transparency and accountability; and transboundary cooperation.
The Foundation's long-standing presence and networks throughout the Asia-Pacific region and in the U.S. enable collaboration and coordination with a wide range of local and international interests affected by complex environmental issues. Our reputation and capacity as an effective neutral convener, moreover, allows us to play a critical role in building consensus and developing stakeholder-driven solutions.
South Asia transboundary water governance
The three major transboundary river systems – the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra – are under considerable stress from population growth, industrial development, urbanization, and ecological degradation while climate change threatens to significantly reduce the availability of water.
The Asia Foundation has provided grants to enhance the capacity of civil society organizations in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal to engage more effectively on transboundary water governance issues. We also facilitate and support multi-country dialogues, civil society coalitions and data-sharing to increase transparency and public participation on transboundary water issues.
Mobilizing the private sector for disaster risk management in Vietnam
Small businesses in Vietnam employ almost 90% of the population and produce more than 50% of national GDP; their ability to recover after a disaster is essential to revitalizing communities and livelihoods. However, many remain ill-prepared for the increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters and climate change impacts. Working through strategic partnerships with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, government, and local NGOs, the Foundation provides disaster management training to SMEs and business associations to improve disaster preparedness and response of communities in Vietnam.
Read more in our blog.
Improving forest governance in Indonesia
Indonesia's biodiverse tropical forests provide resources critical to the livelihoods of 50-70 million people. The Foundation is assisting the Indonesian government to meet its pledge to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by addressing deforestation and land use change at the local level. Our programs engage partners in government, civil society and academia to improve the transparency of and accountability in spatial planning and permit processes. We also support fiscal analysis of environment-related local budgets and revenues; promote improved compliance with land use and forestry laws; and support initiatives on community-based forest management.
Sustainable resource management in Mongolia
Since 2006, we have worked in Mongolia to balance economic growth with environmental sustainability. The mining sector has grown in importance for the national economy, and communities economically dependent on natural resources are increasingly vulnerable to land degradation and water pollution caused by unregulated mining.
Our Engaging Stakeholders for Environmental Conservation (ESEC) project began in 2010 and established multi-stakeholder engagement councils in 31 districts, bringing together local government, communities, and mining companies to discuss and negotiate responsible use of water and soil. The current phase, launched in 2013, aims to mitigate the negative environmental impacts of artisanal and small-scale mining.