The biodiversity crisis is more acute today than at any other time in mankind’s history - we are failing to meet our global biodiversity targets, and unless current trends are reversed, the biodiversity crisis will have devastating impacts on humanity. Our own survival relies upon the species we are driving to extinction. We are eroding the foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security and quality of life.
That is why the Hempel Foundation committed itself to working strategically with sustaining biodiversity in accordance with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal # 15 with a focus on some of the planet’s most valuable natural habitats.
The Hempel Foundation recognises biodiversity loss as one of the most urgent global problems today.
We also understand that biodiversity is about more than plants, animals, micro-organisms and their ecosystems – it is about people and our need for food, medicines, fresh water, and a clean and healthy environment in which to live.
We see that diversity of nature allows us to survive and thrive, and underpins all economic activity.
We developed and formulated our first biodiversity strategy in 2018. With an updated strategy for biodiversity in 2022, our efforts are intensified to increase our impact and our contribution to reaching SDG 15: Life on Land.
The Hempel Foundation's new Biodiversity strategy focuses on three crucial areas:
- First and foremost, we are seeking partners to work with us to sustain the most important key biodiversity areas on the planet.”
- Secondly, we are therefore looking for partners to work with us on innovative approaches to new sources of finance for biodiversity conservation.
- Finally, we are looking for partners to share knowledge and dramatically strengthen the collective impact of everyone who cares about biodiversity.
Where we work
We have identified four regions of the world that contain exceptional biodiversity and are highly threatened. These are the most important regions of the world to work in, if we are to help prevent massive biodiversity loss, so this is where we will focus our strategic investments.
The forests of these four regions cover only about 0.3% of the planet, yet they hold nearly 1/3 of all species on Earth!
Partnering with Hempel Foundation
The Hempel Foundation strives to make a difference by sustaining biodiversity and empowering children to learn. We do so within the ambitions and principles of the Sustainable Development Goals and in partnership with leading development organisations and technical experts.
We aspire to be a capable and leading development partner that explores innovative partnerships and alliances. It is our ambition to be a preferred foundation partner for collaboration within our thematic focus areas of education and biodiversity.
All our partnerships are guided by our Biodiversity Strategy or Education Strategy.
The Hempel Foundation identifies new partners based on sector analyses in target geographies defined by our Education and Biodiversity Strategies. We do not accept unsolicited proposals. The organisations we work with range from global INGOs to large or medium size NGOs based in our priority regions and countries. We work with organisations that have high ethical standards and have the potential and capacity for delivering at a larger scale.
We work in partnerships based on mutual trust, flexibility and a common commitment towards delivering high quality projects. We proactively identify partners and engage ourselves in project design as well as monitoring of implementation and evaluation to ensure high quality in all parts of the project cycle.
The Hempel Foundation Board is the decision-making body responsible for approval of new partnership projects. The Hempel Foundation secretariat ensures partnership projects’ alignment with the Foundation’s strategic frameworks and adequate technical expertise and operational capacity of partners.
Approval of new partnership projects is based on submission of a concept note, which meets the Foundation’s criteria.
In parallel with the preparation of the concept note, we carry out a comprehensive due diligence and screening to make sure partner organisations meet the Hempel Foundation standards. Depending on the type of partner, the due diligence procedure will include: Review of registration documents and annual reports; Review of accounts to screen for financial or operational misconduct; Review of references to existing partners submitted by prospect partner; and Vetting against the UN Sanctions List. And in some cases a full partner review by international recognized consultant with in-country presence.
The contractual foundation of the partnership project is the Partnership Agreement.
The Partnership Agreement defines the purpose and background of the partnership and sets out conditions including approval of the donation, criteria for payment of the donation, and general obligations of the Partner and the Hempel Foundation. Contractual obligations related to the Situation Analysis, the Start-up Workshop and the Project Description is found here, as well as criteria for project governance including the establishment of a Project Steering Committee.
The Partnership Agreement outlines criteria for financial management of the donation and includes the annex “Hempel Foundation Budgeting and Eligibility of Cost Standard”. It includes key requirements for budgeting including the Hempel Foundation maximum indirect cost rate of 15%.
It also sets principles for partnership communication and outlines the criteria for the Communications Plan.
Per December 2021, the Partnership Agreement includes two mandatory annexes
We believe in communicating to contribute to the positive impact that the Hempel Foundation works for. We use communication to spark interest, engagement and ultimately attract additional resources to our common cause. And therefore we invite and expect our partners to partake in this aspect of our partnerships rooted in our joint communications plan.
In 2021, the Hempel Foundation introduced a new Safeguarding Standard. It builds on international standards and best practice and on the Hempel Foundations respect for the safety, wellbeing and rights of the communities we seek to serve. The Safeguarding Standard applies to all Hempel Foundation staff and partners. It applies consistently across all our partnerships, including partners’ staff, consultants and volunteers, as well as sub-implementing partners.
The standard requires partners to proactively identify and prevent all risks of harm, exploitation and abuse and having mature, accountable and transparent systems for response and reporting when risks materialise.
In 2021, the Hempel Foundation introduced a new Whistleblower arrangement. The purpose of the Arrangement is to ensure that persons with knowledge or reasonable suspicion of a beneficiary and/or other participants in the project having misused a grant from the Hempel Foundation are able to swiftly, confidentially and outside the ordinary communication channels report it to an independent and autonomous unit.
After the approval of the Project Description, the Partner and the Hempel Foundation will form a Project Steering Committee to provide overall guidance, strategic oversight and monitoring of the Project. Members of the Steering Committee will be representatives from the Partner, the Hempel Foundation, and key stakeholders such as government representatives and implementing partners.
The Steering Committee will convene twice a year during the implementation phase.
We place strong emphasis on monitoring and evaluation of all Hempel Foundation funded activities. Partnership collaboration should be based on a mutual recognition of the importance of monitoring and evaluation and on capturing lessons learned. Through the Annual Progress Reports and bi-annual Steering Committee Meetings, partners provide routine monitoring data in line with the monitoring, evaluation and learning plan throughout the duration of the project. This may include baseline, midterm and endline data, and at times involve external consultant support for conducting data collection and quality assessment. In addition, we require final project evaluation by external evaluator. The core aim is to ensure ongoing improvement of the project for maximum impact and to facilitate learning beyond the project.
To ensure adequate financial practices in accordance with Hempel Foundation criteria and standards, all projects will undergo final external audit. Partners are requested to inform the Hempel Foundation of which internationally recognized accounting firm has been selected and submit the Terms of Reference for the project audit. Upon approval of the external audit report, the Hempel Foundation will disburse the final instalment and close the project.