This report is based on an article published by the SEE Foundation’s WeChat account on the 11th of August 2020. The SEE foundation was created in 2004 by real estate mogul Liu Xiaoguang, with the vision of mobilising the financial resources of Chinese entrepreneurs to tackle the country’s environmental problems. It is now a public fundraising foundation, still made up mostly of entrepreneurs committed to environmental protection.
Chinese internet giant Tencent set up the 9th of September as the annual “9/9 Philanthropy Day” in 2015. Attracting the participation of hundreds of China’s NGOs, businesses, celebrities and top communication agencies, the 9/9 Philanthropy Day aims to encourage people to make small donations (through cash, sports activities and voice) through the internet and phone apps to support organisations working for public welfare. As this year’s 9/9 Philanthropy Day is coming up next month, the SEE Foundation has published a report summarising what they have done with the funds they raised from last year’s Philanthropy Day.
The report includes demonstrations of various programs run by the SEE Foundation, or belonging to organisations financially supported by the foundation, in four areas: combating desertification, education on protection of nature and ecosystem, global warming and business sustainability and the development of environmental protection for the charity sector. These are all areas that in recent years have been the focus of media reports, government action plans and public attention. Some of them are issues on which the China has been taking action for a long time, like combating desertification and environmental protection. Others are questions that have led to vibrant discussions amongst the public, such as global warming and business sustainability.
The section on combating desertification has brief introductions on two programs run by the SEE Foundation focusing on trees planting and groundwater protection in Inner Mongolia. The section on education on the protection of nature and ecosystems contains fifteen programs run by several NGOs. The majority of these programs are set up to preserve the habitats of plants and endangered wild animals, such as red-crowned cranes and Baer’s pochards, while the rest of the programs direct relevant information to the public through workshops, volunteer activities and organised family activities. The next section, on global warming and business sustainability, covers programs by organisations whose objectives are to collect data on polluted rivers and industrial factories’ purchasing habits and advocate for change in actions and legislation. The final section on the development of environmental protection for the charity sector illustrates training and advocacy programs to equip young people with the knowledge and skills to continue carrying out activities for charity.
From 2015 to 2018, the SEE Foundation raised more than 132,000,000 RMB ($18,979,697.47) and collaborated with over 150 organisations in approximately 300 programs held on the 9/9 Philanthropy Days. In 2019, the foundation was able to obtain funding worth 36,780,000 RMB ($5,288,433.9) from more than 600,000 people, which enabled it to support over 60 programs run by 81 organisations. In the past year, the foundation has seen obvious improvements in people’s awareness of topics such as environmental protection, the protection of nature and endangered animals, and awareness of these issues has been significantly raised through activities involving families, local citizens and youth. With the engagement of both environmental organisations and the general public, the SEE Foundation is confident in the upcoming 9/9 Philanthropy Day and believes actions to promote charity are bound to continue.