Banyan Tree Global Foundation (BTGF), the sustainability arm of Banyan Tree Group, will award its first round of funding for eight NGOs with projects that benefit local communities and natural environments in countries where Banyan Tree hotels and resorts are located.
Funding will come from the Greater Good Grants (GGG), launched last year to support external organisations. The GGG comes on top of other grants Banyan Tree Group has been providing as part of its social responsibility commitment.
According to a press statement, financing conservation initiatives and cultural heritage projects has become all the more crucial, as economic hardships arising from the pandemic have resulted in reduced funding. It cited a report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature that found at least 22 countries have rolled back protection of natural areas, some of which contain the world’s most valuable ecosystems.
“We have a track record of providing grants to over 150 partner organisations in the past. In our pursuit of creating an ecosystem of greater good, we have created the Greater Good Grants to offer even more support. Building partnerships has always been important to us as a Group, as we believe it is the key to making a greater impact,” said Steve Newman, assistant vice president, group sustainability director and coordinating director of BTGF.
The eight qualified NGOs were selected for their projects that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDGs) and Banyan Tree Group’s core ethos of “Embracing the Environment, Empowering People”.
The selected projects will benefit Borneo’s rainforests; Gunung Leuser National Park and Mahakam Delta in Indonesia; Bach Ma National Park and Thua Thien Hue province in Vietnam; and Anlung Pring Wetlands in Cambodia. The other two successful submissions fall under Health & Protection – a water sanitation project in Bumi Indah village, Indonesia, as well as women empowerment workshops in Phuket, Thailand.
To ensure effectiveness in the long run, each project is based on its demonstrated need and urgency; leverage of local, regional and national partnerships to deliver measurable impact; and scalability with clear evaluations of success.
Claire Chiang, co-founder & senior vice president of Banyan Tree Holdings and chairperson of BTGF, said: “2020 provided some respite from the long-term threat of global warming, but it also highlighted the need to repair our planet, and develop a more substantial, science-based roadmap towards a sustainable future. We may be in the business of hospitality, but we are intrinsically dependent on the intangibles of nature, culture and heritage. The stewardship of biodiversity, culture and livelihood is our duty.”
The 2022 round of GGG may call for submissions for specific underserved SDGs, and the next round of submissions will officially open in June 2021.