The Jeffrey Cheah Foundation’s (JCF) first gift of US $10 million to the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) enabled the establishment of the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development (JSC) at Malaysia’s Sunway University in December 2016. The gift allowed The Master in Sustainable Development Management program to roll out in January 2019 which has since attracted widespread interest and participation first in Malaysia and now throughout much of Asia. The JCF gift also enabled SDG Academy to become the global leader of online SDG learning, reaching more than 300,000 learners in 193 countries with more than 30 online courses. Since 2019, JSC has also been the secretariat of the SDSN Malaysia chapter.
Gratified with the outstanding successes and reach of the work accomplished by SDSN and the SDG Academy, the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation has committed a second gift to SDSN of over $8 million USD which will be effective over the 2021-2025 period. SDSN is establishing a new SDSN Asia office to aid the existing New York and Paris offices in overseeing the rapidly growing global activities of SDSN members.
Woo Wing Thye, Vice President for Asia at SDSN, will head the SDSN-Asia office which will be housed at Sunway University. The SDSN-Asia office will initiate and coordinate the major priority programs of SDSN in the geographical area from New Zealand to Turkey. The Asian network has grown rapidly in members and in scope and ambition in its research and advocacy activities. Among the programs being implemented are:
The ASEAN Green Future – a regional project which aims to accelerate action for decarbonization to achieve net zero by 2050 in Southeast Asia.
Mission 4.7 – a global initiative to achieve SDG Target 4.7, promoting Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Global Citizenship (GC). The team at SDSN Asia will work closely with the Mission 4.7 Co-Chairs and leadership team to incorporate education in sustainable development and global citizenship in schools throughout Asia.
The SDG Academy has been operating out of New York and New Delhi. The New Delhi operations will be taken over and expanded by the SDSN-Asia office in Kuala Lumpur. This expansion of the SDG Academy will deepen its role as the hub of high-quality SDG education.
“All of us here at Sunway Group are determined to do our part towards advancing the sustainable development agenda in this part of the world. I am grateful to SDSN for establishing at Sunway University one of the three global SDSN centers to oversee continent-wide sustainability initiatives in Asia.” – Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr. Jeffrey Cheah AO, Founder and Chairman of Sunway Group
“The successive quantum leaps in the Asian membership of SDSN show clearly that the Asia that is returning to the center of the global economic-scientific-cultural stage from the periphery after almost two hundred years is an Asia that is well aware of the need to work effectively and harmoniously with other regions to meet the existential threat of Climate Change, and to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for common progress. The SDSN-Asia office will work hard to help create synergy from the rapid blossoming of SDG initiatives by SDSN members in Asia.” – Woo Wing Thye, Vice President for Asia and Head of the Kuala Lumpur Office