2030 WRG in the News
DAVOS-KLOSTERS, Switzerland – The World Economic Forum will host the secretariat of the Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) 2020 beginning February 2015. Born out of support from the United States Government for the Consumer Goods Forum commitment to achieve zero-net tropical deforestation by 2020, the TFA is a global public-private partnership to help slow tropical deforestation and address climate change.
Through the secretariat, the World Economic Forum will help the TFA partners to expand and implement company commitments for sustainable sourcing of key agricultural commodities. The current production processes of these commodities are a major driver of the world’s tropical deforestation, particularly beef, paper and pulp, palm oil and soy. The TFA partners, which include governments, producer and consumer goods companies, NGOs, indigenous people’s groups and other stakeholders are collaborating to create sustainable supply chains for these commodities by 2020.
“Progress against the TFA 2020 goals is strong, with company commitments now covering more than 90% of the global palm oil supply chain. But with an estimated 12% of greenhouse gas emissions still coming from deforestation, more needs to be done,” said Dominic Waughray, Head of Public-Private Partnership and member of the Management Committee at the World Economic Forum. “We are delighted to collaborate with company partners from the producer and consumer goods sectors, leading environmental NGOs and the governments of Norway, the United Kingdom, United States and Netherlands to help deliver this public-private alliance and its critical outcomes.”
Tropical deforestation is a driver of risks and issues at the top of the global agenda – from threatening the livelihood of the 1.2 billion people who depend on tropical forests for income, to reducing environmental risks such as forest burning. The secretariat will raise awareness about tropical deforestation and convene meetings that leverage the networks and summits of the World Economic Forum to help coordinate and advance action with governments on tropical deforestation globally and in key regions.
“Slowing and, over time, halting tropical deforestation, while restoring degraded forest landscapes and agricultural lands, is essential for our future,” said Tine Sundtoft, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway. “The global public-private partnership that is taking shape to strive towards this goal – counting indigenous people’s organizations and broad segments of civil society as well as a global selection of businesses and governments – is one of the most encouraging signs on the global sustainable development agenda. The Tropical Forest Alliance holds the potential to become one of that partnership’s most important engines. The World Economic Forum – with its unmatched reach and strong record of convening disparate groups to help solve important problems – is the natural host of the TFA.”
“The Tropical Forest Alliance and its members are extremely grateful to the World Economic Forum for the support it has provided during 2014 to advance the partnership up to and through the UNSG Climate Summit. With World Economic Forum help, one of the most impressive outcomes of the Summit was undoubtedly the New York Declaration on Forests,” said Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer of Unilever, and Consumer Goods Forum Board Sponsor of the Sustainability Pillar that champions the TFA. “As the World Economic Forum has clearly demonstrated its unique ability to help mobilize, position and grow large public-private partnerships such as the 2030 Water Resources Group and Grow Africa, we believe it can similarly help to grow and position the TFA to be a globally recognized and impactful partnership.”
The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2015 aims to deliver a practical and ambitious agenda on climate, growth and development for business leaders and policy-makers in 2015 – a decisive year, with UN climate negotiations in Paris in December and the post-2015 sustainable development goals being finalized in New York in September. The climate programme focuses on scaling up solutions across sectors, value chains, business and government policies and technologies. Reducing tropical deforestation will be a key topic explored during sessions of the Annual Meeting, and regional discussions will begin at the World Economic Forum on East Asia this April.
The Co-Chairs of the Annual Meeting 2015 are: Hari S. Bhartia, Co-Chairman and Founder, Jubilant Bhartia Group, India; Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International, United Kingdom; Katherine Garrett-Cox, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer, Alliance Trust, United Kingdom; Young Global Leader Alumnus; Jim Yong Kim, President, The World Bank, Washington DC; Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google, USA; and Roberto Egydio Setubal, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors, Itaú Unibanco, Brazil.
The World Economic Forum is a partner of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP)
Die DEZA ist finanziell und personell eng mit globalen Wasserprivatisierungsoffensiven von
Nestlé & Co. verknüpft. Dabei liesse die in der Schweiz praktizierte Wasserbewirtschaftung
eine enge Kooperation mit öffentlichen Wasserversorgern in Lateinamerika erwarten.
In the first installment of a series on the threat of water scarcity, Pilita Clarck describes the cost to companies.
News Source: The Guardian
By Oliver Balch
In early 2000, a string of riots and protests broke out in the Bolivian city of Cochabamba. The “water wars” were sparked by a government decision to hand over control of water supply to a foreign-owned, private consortium. The bid process was uncontested and the revenues guaranteed for 40 years. Residents had every right to be aggrieved. Their bills jumped by 35% overnight and small farmers faced the loss of traditional irrigation rights.
The episode represents a classic case of “policy capture”. More than a decade on and the perception that big business is muscling in on water policy remains widespread. And it’s not just in far-flung corners of the developing world. This week, policymakers are discussing “sweeping new EU-US trade negotiations” that could see greater corporate control over key European water markets, according to a report by Corporate Observatory Europe (CEO), a Brussels-based pressure group. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership could lead to reduction in environmental and water quality standards too, water campaigners fear.
“The private water industry is investing heavily in lobbying to shape EU water policies,” argues Olivier Hoedeman, CEO’s research co-ordinator. “The most extreme example of this corporate bias is … where the European Commission uses its negotiating power to pressure other countries to open their markets to EU-based water multinationals.”
But the issue isn’t just limited to companies involved in commercial water services. Far from it. Most water-related conflicts around the world actually arise at the consumption phase. David Hall, a water policy expert at the University of Greenwich and co-author of a paper on corporate water practices and human rights, points the finger to heavy water users in the agribusiness, food and beverage, and mining sectors in particular.
“At a global level, the same companies that are major consumers of water promote a number of initiatives to try and advance ideas which favour their interests in these conflicts with other users,” Hall argues.
Take water efficiency. It’s difficult to argue with the idea of saving water, you’d think. And you’d be right. But what if agribusinesses use efficiency arguments as a pretext for pushing forward high-tech farming solutions, asks Hall, who claims something similar is unfolding in India’s Maharashtra state at present.
Pushing for clarity over water rights is another concept advocated by companies. Again, the idea seems reasonable, especially given the informal nature of such rights in much of the world. However, such a move easily opens the door to a “regime of structured contractual rights”, whereby water is portioned off to the highest bidder, says Hall.
Water is an undeniably emotive topic, and citizen groups have every reason to remain vigil. But big business has a legitimate interest in seeing that water is well-stewarded too. Precisely because of their high levels of water consumption, water stress represents a large and growing risk. A new country ranking by the World Resources Institute (WRI), for example, finds that water-related problems threaten more than half (56%) the world’s irrigated agricultural land.
So companies have to act. The question is how to do so in way that is perceived as fair. The CEO Water Mandate, a company-backed initiative, produced guidelines back in 2010 to address exactly this challenge. The Guide to Responsible Business Engagement with Water Policy identifies five core principles for business to follow: (i) advance sustainable water management; (ii) respect public and private roles; (iii) strive for inclusiveness and partnerships; (iv) be pragmatic and consider integrated engagement; (v) be accountable and transparent.
Jason Morrison, technical director at the CEO Water Mandate, puts special emphasis on two of these principles: transparency and inclusiveness. Both are “daunting” concepts for most companies, which are used to “discretely and quietly” strike bilateral deals with water ministries, he admits.
“[Companies] have to be very clear about what they’re doing, with whom and why. The degree to which you’re transparent about that, it really does insulate you from the accusation of policy capture,” he argues.
Jesse Worker, associate for the Access Initiative at WRI, agrees. Only full, meaningful and ongoing disclosure will persuade the public that business “has a legitimate role to play” in water policy, he says. In addition to publishing information on the policy-making process, responsible companies should be providing data on their water use, discharge rates and other impacts as well.
As for inclusivity, inviting other interest groups to join in the policy-making process helps pre-empt those same groups accusing a company of policy capture “further down the road”, says Morrison. Collaboration isn’t easy, however. For one, it takes time. Multi-stakeholders processes can “easily take several years” to achieve an outcome, says Greg Koch, director of global water stewardship at drinks brand Coca Cola. Working within the constraints of a government’s bureaucratic decision-making process requires further time and patience, he notes.
Yet an open, participative approach to policy engagement is possible, Koch states. He points to the work of the multi-stakeholder 2030 Water Resources Group (WRG). Launched in 2008, the initiative advocates a three-stage approach in the six countries where it operates – a list that includes India, where Coca Cola has been embroiled in a conflict over water use in the past. The first two stages comprise analysing current and future areas of water stress, and then designing pilot solutions that have the potential to be scaled if successful. Both stages include widespread external consultation.
Stage three is decision time. It’s the “domain of government” to decide what interventions or policy reforms are most appropriate, and how these will be financed and administered, Koch insists. “That’s the point when we and everyone step out.”
By Randall Hackley
Leaks and investment delays threaten the U.S. water system, exposing the value of a commodity that in short supply disrupts businesses, according to a web campaign.
The “Water is Your Business” site went live today, sponsored by the National Association of Water Companies and U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It urges companies to stop neglecting infrastructure upgrades as water use for energy and electricity production doubles worldwide in the next 25 years, according to International Atomic Energy Agency forecasts.
Water Resources Group viabilizará cooperación técnica entorno a políticas públicas para la gestión integrada de los recursos hídricos.
In the 2005 documentary, We Feed the World, then-CEO of Nestlé, the world’s largest
foodstuff corporation, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, shared some of his own views and ‘wisdom’
about the world and humanity. Brabeck believes that nature is not “good,” that there is nothing to worry about with GMO foods, that profits matter above all else, that people should work more, and that human beings do not have a right to water. Today, he explained, “people believe that everything that comes from Nature is good,” marking a large change in perception, as previously, “we always learnt that Nature could be pitiless.” Humanity, Brabeck stated, “is now in the position of being able to provide some balance to Nature, but in spite of this we have something approaching a shibboleth that everything that comes from Nature is good.” He then referenced the “organic movement” as an example of this thinking, premising that “organic is best.” But rest assured, he corrected, “organic is not best.” In 15 years of GMO food consumption in the United States, “not one single case of illness has occurred.” In spite of this, he noted, “we’re all so uneasy about it in Europe, that something might happen to us.” This view, according to Brabeck, is “hypocrisy more than anything else.”
(ANA) Una destacada participación tuvo el jefe de la Autoridad Nacional del Agua Dr. Hugo Jara Facundo durante la sesión referida al agua que se llevó a cabo el pasado martes en el marco del VIII Foro Económico Mundial para América Latina que se desarrolla en Perú y que reúne a más de 700 empresarios de alto nivel de la región.