AVPN Global Conference 2023 | 20 - 22 June 2023


Untapped Fortunes: Building and Investing in Asia’s Natural Capital Sector

By Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN)


Online and Singapore

Date & time

04 August 2021



04 August 2021


About this event

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Nature-based solutions are one of the most efficient and effective tools for climate change mitigation. Not only does nature provide critical resources that all lives depend upon, but it also absorbs up to 50% of carbon dioxide emissions from human activities.

Despite Asia’s wealth of natural capital, which generates 30% of its GDP, Asia has disproportionately underfunded the protection of these important assets. The region’s enormous economic growth in the last few decades has come at a high cost to its environment. It has led to the deterioration of land, freshwater and marine ecosystems, worsening water and food insecurity, and increasing vulnerability to climate change.

In this webinar co-organized by AVPN and RS Group, the latter will share how they, as an Asia-based funder, have chosen and structured a focus on natural capital. Leveraging their latest report, “Feasibility Study on Market Potential and Drives of Nature-Based Businesses in Southeast Asia”, they will share insights into the landscape, opportunities, and challenges of nature-based businesses in Asia.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn about climate and financial returns on investments in nature-based solutions in Asia
  • Harness the market opportunities of nature-based businesses in Asia
  • Maximize the role that capital providers, NGOs, and communities can play to support the growth of the natural capital market
Chris Knight
Director and Co-founder,

Chris has plated an instrumental role in the allocation of several hundred million dollars in public and private investments to sustainable land use and conservation programmes. He has also indirectly influenced several billion dollars of private investment through the provision of advisory support on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues for debt and equity providers globally. Chris was also the founder of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC’s) forestry and sustainable land use team and has been a leading voice on sustainable land use and ecosystem economics, and representative on government, NGO and industry advisory panels. Currently, she is driving the “Natural Capital Initiative” aimed at deploying catalytic capital to support innovative investment solutions that can protect and enhance natural capital in Asia.

Chris has worked in over 30 countries in his 23 year career in conservation and sustainable finance. His clients span investment banks, development banks and some of the world’s largest commercial lenders to the land use sectors. Chris’s previous global role within PwC and secondment to WWF to help conceive and design the Landscape Finance Lab gave him a broad international base of finance sector and conservation-minded networks.
James Spurgeon
Founder and Director,
Sustain Value

James is a Director of Sustain Value, a leading UK network based sustainability management consulting firm he established in 2011. He has 30 years’ experience in impact valuation – quantifying and valuing natural, social and human capital impacts and dependencies for businesses, financial institutions, family offices and governments around the world. During this time, he has undertaken several hundred environmental and social valuation studies and developed many bespoke sustainability/ESG tools – often to help identify and evaluate investments.

A key focus for James is on the Blue Economy, in particular, coral reefs, mangroves, marine protected areas and tourism. He has also worked and travelled throughout SE Asia, including in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan, China and Hong Kong. James was a lead author of the Natural Capital Protocol and an author of its Finance Supplement, and has written numerous related business guides and papers on coral reef economics. He sits on the Capitals Coalition Advisory Panel and was previously an advisory to the Prince of Wales’ Impact Value-Working Group.
Ronie Mak
Managing Director ,
RS Group

Ronnie leads and manages the strategy, operations and development of RS Group’s activities in HK and globally. RS Group is a mid-sized HK-based family office committed to creating a paradigm shift in people’s values and priorities so that economic growth will support, instead of jeopardize, human development and environmental sustainability. She led the launch of the RS Group Impact Report in 2016 and the incubation of the Sustainable Finance Investment (SFI) in 2018, a private investor community platform that aims to drive demand and promote sustainable finance in HK. Ronie is a Shareholder Member of SFI.

Ronie has over 15 years of banking and finance experience. Prior to joining RS Group in 2014, she spent a total of 12 years at HSBC across various roles (CEO office, Strategy, Investment Building). During this period, she has also acted as the Secretary of the Hong Kong Association of Banks in 2012. Other prior roles included corporate finance positions within KPMG and UPS.


*Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (“AVPN”) is a non-profit registered charity in Singapore dedicated to the power of networks to mobilise capital for impact. Our signature events are intended to be neutral, non-political and non-partisan platforms for AVPN members, partners and other stakeholders to connect and share best practices, experiences and knowledge within the network for the development of an impactful social investment community. Participants should refer to the information provided prior to each session about the session’s speakers, objectives and topic, including the audience profile who are expected to attend, where applicable. Information shared by the speakers at AVPN events and conferences is provided by third-parties, and does not represent the views of AVPN on any matter. AVPN does not warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of this information and is not liable nor responsible for reliance anyone may place on such information, participants should consume this information at their own risk. AVPN reserves the right to edit, cut down and adapt the content and materials at these activities to align with the stated agenda or purpose of the AVPN events or conferences. Any information or materials provided at these activities are only for information and knowledge sharing within the stated agenda or purpose and does not in any way constitute tax, legal, financial or investment advice, nor do they constitute offers, solicitations, or recommendations for any investment activity.

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