China

100 Water Heroes: Hilde-Gunn Vestad

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Director Compliance & Sustainability at Lidl Hong Kong Limited

Hilde-Gunn Vestad is the Director of Compliance and Sustainability at Lidl Hong Kong Limited. Originating from Norway, Hilde moved to the Asia Pacific, and has lived and worked there since. Hilde has led a career of impact, and has been involved in a range of sustainability programmes in the fast fashion, sporting goods and retail industries.

In 2003, prior to her work with Lidl, Hilde joined the adidas Group, where she audited a wide range of suppliers throughout Asia Pacific. Hilde has long since been an advocate for workers’ rights, migrant workers’ rights, human rights and women’s rights. Her involvement in this sphere led to her serving on the board the Mekong Club, a group that fights modern day slavery. Hilde is also on the board of amfori, a “global business association for open and sustainable trade.”

In addition to her impactful work in the Compliance and Sustainability field, Hilde has been an avid supporter of #RunningDry since its inception. She has passionately highlighted the movement and its purpose every day, on every platform. Hilde has contributed a massive 71km to #RunningDry, ensuring the movement grows and awareness surrounding the global water crisis spreads.

Hilde is one of our #100WaterHeroes because of her impactful work in Compliance and Sustainability, and for her tenacious support of the #RunningDry movement.

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/hilde-gunn-vestad-1b82bb14

Twitter: @HildeVestad 

100 Water Heroes: Judy Chen

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Chairperson of the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF

Judy Chen is the Chairperson of the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF. Under her leadership, they seek to achieve wildlife sustainability and biodiversity “through advocation, facilitation and participation in the conservation of wildlife and habitats with research and education in Asia.”

With public donations, partnerships with corporations and special events, they raise funds to support UNICEF’s work. UNICEF Hong Kong, in particular, encourages and advocates for children’s rights by setting up youth education programmes throughout the area.

In 2013, Judy was awarded a lifetime achievement award, the ‘Contribution Prize of International Week of Science and Peace’. She is also the Chairperson of the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation in Hong Kong.

Judy is one of our #100WaterHeroes for her leadership of UNICEF Hong Kong, and for tirelessly working towards wildlife conservation in the region.

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/judy-chen-198ab926

100 Water Heroes: Kuang Shangfu

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President of the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research (IWHR)

Kuang Shangfu is the President of the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research (IWHR). IWHR provides a range of water-related services, such as flood management, water resource allocation, water-saving construction practices and many more.

In addition to his position as President of IWHR, Kuang holds a PhD from Kyoto University, and is the Director of the International Research and Training Center on Erosion and Sedimentation. He is also a council member of the Chinese Hydraulic Engineering Society.

IWHR has been responsible for research and consultancy in a range of large projects throughout China. The seek to “provide scientific and technological support and assurance to the sustainable development of water resources in China.”

Kuang is one of our #100WaterHeroes for his work with IWHR, and for his commitment to sustainable development in China.

100 Water Heroes: Yu Xiaogang

Environmentalist  

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Yu Xiaogang is a Chinese Environmentalist who has pioneered cutting-edge watershed management programmes to assist local communities who have been displaced by dam construction. As a result of his work in this field, social impact assessments are now included in mass development projects.

Yu became involved in watershed programmes after writing a social impact assessment as part of his PhD thesis on a dam built at Lashi Lake. This particular dam destroyed the area’s ecosystem, devastating the livelihoods of local fishermen and farmers.

In collaboration with the local community, government and private entrepreneurs, Yu rejuvenated the area, making it one of China’s top 10 sustainable developments. To achieve this, Yu put together a local watershed management committee, a fishery association, poverty alleviation programmes and road-building projects.

At the core of his work, Yu believes in empowering local villagers and does so by involving them in workshops and training programmes. In 2004, he brought 5 village representatives to a UN symposium on dam issues in Beijing. When speaking on the involvement of local communities, Yu stated:

“Having villager participation forever changed the history of the dam decision-making process. In the past, affected peoples were silenced. They had no voice in what happened to them and had to accept decisions made by the government and dam companies.”

Yu is one of our #100WaterHeroes for his development of revolutionary watershed management programmes, and for empowering local communities to be involved in dam decision-making processes.

100 Water Heroes: Ma Jun

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Founder and Director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE)

Ma Jun is an environmentalist, author, environmental consultant and journalist. Currently, he is the Director of the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) which, under his leadership produced the China Water Pollution Map - the first public database of information surrounding water pollution in China. In addition to his work with IPE, he is also the Environmental Consultant for the Sinosphere Corporation.

Prior to working with IPE, Ma was a respected journalist or the South China Morning Post (SCMP) from 1993-2000. During his time at SCMP, he wrote an array of environmentally-focused articles, and was later appointed as the chief representative of SCMP.com in Beijing.

In 1999, Ma wrote a book entitled China’s Water Crisis, the first book to deal at length with China’s environmental crisis. In 2006, Ma was named on Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. He was also awarded the Goldman Prize in 2012, for his contributions towards publicising China’s environmental information.

Ma is one of our #100WaterHeroes for leading the development of the China Pollution Map Database, and for using his platform to raise awareness of the nation’s environmental issues.

IPE Website

100 Water Heroes: Jianming Liu

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Jianming Liu is a nine-year-old boy from Shanghai who loves sports and doing what he can to better his community. He takes part in a range of sporting activities, such as running, hiking and little iron man. In addition to his sporting ability, Jianming has been involved in a number of volunteer initiatives, such as taking care of and playing with autistic children, raising money for charity and contributing to charity exhibitions.

Jianming recently heard about #RunningDry and has since been inspired to learn more about invisible water and conserves water wherever possible.

In his new-found passion for water conservation, Jianming has said that he makes sure to turn off the faucet when brushing his teeth, chooses hand sanitiser over soap and water, and reuses household grey water. He has also been careful to save paper, because he is aware of how much water goes into everything we consume

Jianming is one of our #100WaterHeroes for passionately serving his community and doing whatever he can to make sure every drop counts!

100 Water Heroes: Debra Tan

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Director and Head of China Water Risk (CWR)

Debra Tan leads China Water Risk (CWR) in its mission to “foster efficient and responsible use of the China’s water resources by engaging the global business and investment communities in understanding and managing China’s water risk.” Launched in 2011, CWR has become a internationally respected institution in the water risk sector.

Prior to her involvement with water issues, Debra worked as a chartered accountant and investment banker. She has produced a number of reports for financial institutions that focus on the water risks surrounding the power, mining, agricultural and textiles industries. These reports “have been considered groundbreaking and instrumental in understanding not just China’s but future global water challenges.” Particularly notable was a report that resulted in the fashion industry nomination CWR as a finalist for the Global Leadership Awards in Sustainable Apparel. She is a renowned speaker who has delivered numerous key note addresses, as well as having been invited to join prestigious panel discussions, conferences and academic forums.

Under Debra’s leadership, CWR has focused on transforming China’s industrial and agricultural sectors to be environmentally sustainable, particularly because they are the country’s main polluters and make up over 80% of their overall water use. CWR’s long-term vision is to create “an investment and corporate universe that understands and responds to the inherent environmental and business risks of China’s water crisis, working together to ensure sustainable use of water resources.”

Debra is one of our #100WaterHeroes for leading China Water Risk as they seek to create industrial and agricultural sectors that are environmentally sustainable and water-conscious.

CWR Twitter

CWR Facebook

CWR Linkedin

100 Water Heroes: Lisa Genasci

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Founder and CEO of ADM Capital Foundation

Lisa Genasci is the Founder and CEO of ADM Capital Foundation (ADMCF) that “provides support to some of Asia’s most marginalised children and works to combat intransigent environmental challenges.” ADMCF works with 28 NGO partners across 8 Asian countries, providing strategic funding and various other means of support. Their core focus is to further environmental conservation initiatives throughout Asia “in a manner that is sustainable and sensitive to local cultures.”

Prior to launching ADMFC, Lisa worked at the Associated Press for 10 years and, during her time there, served 3 years as a correspondent in Rio de Janeiro, 3 years on the AP foreign desk in New York and 4 years as a financial reporter. In addition to obtaining her BA degree, she also completed an LLM in Human Rights Law.

When reflecting on ADMCF’s vision, Lisa stated:

"Our goal is to enhance what exists, be impact-driven. We want to provide not just finance but strategic engagement, housing, whatever is necessary … we start always with the need."

In all of their work, ADMCF seeks to combat environmental degradation by supporting initiatives related to marine ecology, water security, air quality, wildlife trade and forestry conservation finance.

Through her work with ADMCF, Lisa has committed herself to combating climate change and environmental degradation throughout Asia. This makes her one of our #100WaterHeroes.

Twitter: @genascihk

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/lisa-genasci-35ab7640

Blog: genascihk.wordpress.com  

100 Water Heroes: Angus Lam

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Chairperson of the Sustainable Ecological Ethical Development Foundation

Angus Lam is the Chairperson of the Sustainable Ecological Ethical Development Foundation (SEED), an organisation that looks to “promote simple and sustainable lifestyles.” Based in Hong Kong, SEED works on supporting and encouraging the growth of the organic farming sector.

SEED was established 15 years ago and has been key in fostering the organic farming movement. Their core focus is on organic farming, ecosystem preservation and human welfare. By uniting public, private and governmental powers, SEED hopes to ensure Hong Kong’s sustainable development. Going forward, they will urge private corporations to get involved “in social responsibility and fair trade.”

When speaking on his vision for SEED, Angus noted how important sustainable farming practices are for Hong Kong’s future development:

Agriculture is a living and a culture - simple, organic lifestyle is the new direction of our societal development. Organic farming provides us with safe food, while a sustainable lifestyle nurtures our mental and spiritual health.

Angus is one of our #100WaterHeroes for leading SEED in its mission to make Hong Kong sustainable by supporting the organic farming sector.

SEED Website

100 Water Heroes: Mei Ng

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Chairperson of Friends of the Earth (HK)

Mei Ng is the Chairperson of Friends of the Earth (HK), a charitable organisation founded in 1983, and one of Hong Kong’s most renowned environmentalist groups.

Friends of the Earth (HK) works on protecting the environment and “offers equitable solutions to help create environmentally sustainable public policies, business practices and community lifestyles.” Their focus is on actively engaging governments, businesses and local communities to live sustainably and act responsibly.

Mei has been involved with Friends of the Earth (HK) for over 26 years, and has widespread experience in environmental protection and public services. She initially volunteered at Friends of the Earth, and continued on as their Executive Director for 14 years. In 2000, the UN awarded her the Global 500 Laureate for her environmentalist contributions. She was also appointed as the China Environment Envoy by China’s National Environment Bureau.

Mei is one of our #100WaterHeroes for her work with Friends of the Earth, and her extensive contribution achieving environmental sustainability in Hong Kong.

Friends of the Earth (HK) Website

100 Water Heroes: Rachel Pang Hoi Yan

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Founder of Water for Free

Rachel Pang Hoi Yan is the Founder of Water for Free, an NGO to identifies and encourages the use of water dispensaries throughout Hong Kong city.

Rachel was first introduced to environmentalism after developing a breathing problem as a result of the smog in Beijing, where she worked at the time. Rachel then partook in a range of environmental campaigns whenever she had the time, and launched her full-time career in conservation in 2016.

Under Rachel’s leadership, Water for Free has been developing an app that identifies free water dispensaries throughout Hong Kong, showing the location of over 1300 water fountains. By making free, clean water more accessible, Rachel hopes to discourage and reduce bottled water consumption.

Water for Free has also been focused on lobbying the government to install more water fountains throughout the city, in places such as museums, libraries and public transport hubs.

Rachel is one of our #100WaterHeroes because of her proactive approach to reducing plastic waste by making clean water easily accessible to the people of Hong Kong.

Water for Free Facebook

Water for Free App