Corporate News

Maharashtra Cotton Water Platform Launched

Maharashtra Cotton MeetingA start of a new partnership with the Government of Maharashtra, NGOs and Industries with the launch of the Maharashtra Cotton Water Platform

2030 WRG recently launched the Maharashtra Cotton Water Platform to enhance and de-risk the livelihoods of more than 500,000 cotton farmers by delivering coordinated solutions for sustainable agricultural practices and water security in the Marathwada and Vidharba regions of Maharashtra. High dependency on rainfall (87% farmers in Marathwada region), unsustainable water use (only 4% of cotton in the Marathwada and Vidharba area is irrigated) and low cotton productivity aggravated due to climate change is driving cotton farmers to suicide.

The platform addresses the present situation by convening key representatives of the government, private sector and civil society which includes a senior official of the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Maharashtra, and representatives from the state’s Water Resources Department and Water Conservation Department, Jain Irrigation, Syngenta Foundation, C & A Foundation, H & M, Council on Energy, Environment and Water, and WWF India.

The initiative seeks to integrate government schemes, on-farm technology and leverage market resources through the Public Private Partnership for Integrated Agricultural Development (PPP-IAD) framework, making cotton production more sustainable and enabling cotton farmers to be a part of the global sustainability initiatives in cotton.

Currently, the platform is creating a dynamic network of organizations active in Maharashtra in the cotton sector, sharing lessons and good practices for accelerated collective learning on ongoing initiatives and finalizing new initiatives at the farm, community and watershed level. The first formal Sounding Board Meeting was held in December 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

Peruvian journalists place water stories high on the agenda

IEP Media Workshop LimaLima, Peru, 11 February, 2016 – A recent media workshop, led by the Institute for Peruvian Studies (IEP) in collaboration with 2030 WRG and other partners, was held to position water as a key topic in the electoral debates as part of the upcoming presidential elections in Peru. Over 40 media professionals from various organizations attended the workshop. They learned about key issues and players, and how to place the stories on the public agenda.

IEP also developed a policy brief on water jointly with the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC or COSUDE in Spanish) with specific guidelines and recommendations for adequate water resources management addressed to presidential candidates and journalists.IEP Media Workshop Peru roundtable

The workshop also provided journalists with innovative tools to manage key information on social media channels. The event furthermore helped water and policy professionals, as well as key decision makers develop a closer relationship with key media influencers in Peru.

 

>>Click Here to download the IEP Infographic (in Spanish)

Seeking Sustainable Water Services in Peru

Fernando MomiyThis blog post has been written by Fernando Momiy Hada/Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Inspection Office for Sanitation Services (Superintendencia Nacional de Servicios de Saneamiento SUNASS).

Steady urban population growth, the effects of climate change, the risks posed by natural disasters, and the impact of water source and reservoir contamination are calling for greater effort in the area of regulatory management and the involvement of water and sewage service operators in this process.  However, many more institutions are also involved, including the people themselves, whose commitment and active participation will be necessary for the sustainable provision of this vital service.

SUNASS, as the sanitation regulatory entity in Peru, is cognizant of the fact that if we do not tackle these challenges comprehensively, policy or regulatory improvement or economic and financial models will not be able to guarantee the sustainable provision of water and sewage services in the country. Our effort to implement Compensation Mechanisms for Ecosystem Services (Mecanismos de Retribución de los Servicios Ecosistémicos (MRSE)* in order to ensure that sanitation service providers can finance projects that help preserve the consistency, quality, and quantity of the water sources reveals the need for comprehensive management of water resources.

We therefore commend the Ministry of Housing, Construction, and Sanitation—the sector’s governing body—for approving the regulatory framework for the use of groundwater by turning over its infrastructure (wells and underground tunnels) to the sanitation service providers for maintenance and conservation and tasking SUNASS with responsibility for approving rate-setting methodology.  This progress is being made in the context of the challenges arising from the ground water depletion being observed in Lima and Callao, which runs the risk of leaving the population without water reserves, should changes in the water cycle occur in the watersheds that supply water to the cities.

SUNASS approved the implementation of the system revolving around rate subsidies for potable water, which will pave the way for optimization of the incentives for the development of the service by residents.

Taking stock of water resources in the design of the country’s development strategy is the first step to guarantee future growth.  Water is critical to all economic activities.  For this reason, if we do not approach our development taking water into account—how we will use it and distribute it and how much we will develop it—we will not be able to lay the groundwork for sustainable development in the future.

In our quest for sustainable water resources, we have received support from such key institutions as the 2030 Water Resources Group (WRG), which included us in working groups and opened the doors of its Board of Directors so as to seek consensus among national authorities, NGOs, private enterprises, and international assistance entities, all assembled as one group with the aim of contributing to crafting a joint vision and model for water use, which Peru needs.

*Compensation mechanisms for ecosystem services are financial mechanisms intended to conserve, recover, or use, in a sustainable manner, water source ecosystems through the provision of incentives to residents to carry out these activities.

Karnataka Stakeholders Deliberate on Policy for Urban Wastewater Reuse

Karnataka_WastewaterWorkshopKarnataka, India, February 17, 2016 – 2030 WRG has facilitated the establishment of a Committee to promote the reuse of treated municipal wastewater, particularly by industry, through the development of the requisite policy framework. The Committee includes the Urban Development Department, Government of Karnataka, as well as representatives from industry, civil society organizations, and academic experts.

In the State of Karnataka, a key Hydro-Economic Analysis facilitated by 2030 WRG[1] shows that the State will require twice as much water by 2030 as is consumed today, and that a business-as-usual approach will help meet only half of this requirement. The incremental cost of wastewater reuse is becoming more economical than primary supply augmentation from fresh surface water sources, when wastewater network systems and treatment plants are planned and designed for reuse and alternative fresh water sources are declining or unavailable.

Karnataka_WasteWaterWorkshopThe policy framework aims to address key constraints for the reuse of wastewater. In addition to lack of awareness on the opportunities and benefits of reuse, current pricing of water does not reflect economic externalities. It fails to account for the range of external costs associated with the conventional water cycle of abstraction, purification and discharge. Moreover, private sector initiative is crucial for supporting innovation, professional management, and improved operation and maintenance, which the policy aims to support.

The stakeholder deliberations are addressing regulatory, institutional and financial policy options needed to grow the market share of treated wastewater. The policy framework will be supplemented with institutional capacity for the implementation of concrete reuse projects.

[1]Creating a Sustainable Water Future for Karnataka- Urban and Industrial Sectors, Deloitte and 2030 Water Resources Group,2014

 

 

2030 WRG collaborates with IFC to promote responsible water management in Mongolia’s mining sector

Mongolia MiningUlaanbaatar, Mongolia, February 4, 2016 – The 2030 WRG in a consortium with IFC and partners, successfully brokered a new voluntary code of practice (VCP) for common water management and reporting for the mining industry in the South Gobi region. This collective effort will safeguard water resources and promote the efficient and transparent use of water. The VCP is a critical step towards building trust among local stakeholders, including government authorities, local communities, civil society organizations, and the media. Other partners include the Government of Canada, Australian Aid, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Council of Mining and Metals.

Mining is the backbone of Mongolia’s economy. The arid Gobi region is set to experience a major mining boom. However, lack of long-term management and resolution of water issues could derail mining and significantly impact the country’s future growth. Exploration and mining companies need water for operations and are increasingly aware that it needs to be managed as a shared resource.

A statement issued by the VCP’s signatories signed says, “The VCP is a powerful display of corporate accountability. It is necessary to balance mining sector development with the human need for water in the Gobi region. We have made a statement of intent; now we have to deliver on it.”

“The VCP provides the framework for a positive impact on water management by conserving ecosystems, strengthening communities, and committing to specific operational practices,” said B. Byambasaikhan, CEO, Erdenes Mongol, Mongolia’s largest investment holding company and one of the signatories to the VCP.

“In Mongolia, water is a shared resource requiring common awareness and joint management approaches,” said Tuyen D. Nguyen, Resident Representative for IFC in Mongolia. “The mining industry’s comittment to the VCP shows its willingness to take a sector-wide approach to address a national challenge.”

IFC has engaged the mining sector in the South Gobi (SG) region since 2013 with the overall goal of improving the water management and stakeholder engagement practices. IFC and the South Gobi Water and Mining Industry Roundtable  worked together with over ten companies to developthe VCP, which is based on leading international practices on community engagement, participatory water management, and monitoring.

VCP Signatories: Erdenes Mongol, Oyu Tolgoi, Energy Resources, Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, Erdene, South Gobi Sands, Xanadu, Terra Energy, Gobi Coal and Energy.

 

First Meeting of the Bangladesh National Steering Board

Bangladesh MSP launchDhaka, Bangladesh, 30 January, 2016 – The first meeting of the Bangladesh National Steering Board (NSB) was held at the end of January at the Westin Hotel in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The NSB was formed as a result of the Bangladesh 2030 WRG multi-stakeholder partnership that was formally endorsed by the Honorable Prime Minister of Bangladesh. The agreement was announced through a gazette published by the Bangladesh Government Press on December 6, 2015.

The meeting was inaugurated with brief opening remarks by Dr. Zafar Ahmed Khan (Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources and Member-Secretary of NSB) and Mr. Mohammad Shafiul Alam (Cabinet Secretary and Chair of NSB). Several presentations highlighting issues and challenges related to water resources in the different sectors by were made by Bangladesh Water Partnership (BWP), PWC, WWF, SIWI and 2030 WRG.

After the presentations, the acting Co-chair from the private sector Ms. Rokia Afzal Rahman (Vice-President, International Chambers of Commerce) and Co-chair from the Civil Society, Mr. Mushtaque Chowdhury (Vice-Chair, BRAC) made brief remarks endorsing the platform and emphasizing the need for immediate actions and programs to address the challenges.

Work streams

The NSB made key decisions to establish and operationalize the Bangladesh Water MSP. This included the formation of the three work streams on Water Governance, Greater Dhaka Watershed Restoration and Agri-Water.

The NSB provided the 2030 WRG with a mandate to nominate the members of the work streams in collaboration with the three work stream chairs. Joint work plans for the respective work streams will be developed with special focus on priority areas, whereby the necessary studies will be conducted and reported back to the National Steering Board. Moreover, the NSB agreed to start a process to review laws, regulations and policies in order to improve governance of water resources.  It was agreed that the next NSB meeting will be held on April 30th.

About the Bangladesh Water MSP
The Bangladesh Water MSP is dedicated to addressing water sector issues in Bangladesh. The multi-stakeholder dialogue is focused on the identification, design and implementation of ‘Transformative Collective Action’ projects. The transformative projects will aim to make a significant contribution to improving water security by reducing the water supply-demand gap and/or improving the quality of available water resources for agricultural, industrial, domestic use and to ensure sustainability of essential eco-system services.

Structure of the Bangladesh Water MSP:
Bangladesh Water MSP

The High Level Water Forum is under the Prime Minister. The Cabinet Secretary – the highest ranking civil servant in Bangladesh – is the Chair of the NSB. The Bangladesh Water MSP is composed of key policy-makers (from the Ministries of Water Resources, Finance, Agriculture, Local Government, Environment and other government agencies), civil society, distinguished business leaders, industry associations and water sector experts. It is expected that the bilateral and multi-lateral development partners and donor agencies will take an active role in the process through providing expert assistance, advisory services and by facilitating targeted stakeholder engagement on specific issues or thematic areas. The 2030 WRG Bangladesh Secretariat facilitates the Bangladesh Water MSP.

Growing interest and support for Kilimanjaro Water Stewardship Platform

TanzaniaArusha, 29 January, 2016 – A recent workshop organized by the 2030 WRG took place in Arusha to discuss the concept and gauge potential interest in establishing the Kilimanjaro Water Stewardship Platform. The platform would provide a mechanism to coordinate and scale up interventions and develop solutions to tackle the growing water resources challenges in the basin as part of a wide public, private and civil society partnership. The 2030 Water Resources Group has helped convene a wide range of stakeholders to develop a concept for the Platform.

The Pangani River Basin is of vital importance to Tanzania. It is home to a large number of commercial agriculture producers (coffee and sugar) and has the largest concentration of horticulture and floriculture producers in Tanzania – with over 30 companies in the region identified as exporting to European markets.  The Pangani is also globally recognized for its forest and biodiversity resources which generates an estimated US$50 million alone in revenue each year for the Tanzanian economy.  The Pangani is already water stressed, and evidence suggests its resources will become increasingly constrained.

Collective action

The objective of the workshop was to bring together important stakeholders in the Basin; to identify priority actions and milestones for the campaign; to strategize a way forward and to highlight the importance of collective action of major water users in the Pangani as being essential to address risks and provide solutions to tackling water challenges in the Basin.

The workshop was attended by more than 30 participants from 20 organizations from the public and private sectors and civil society organizations. At the end of the Workshop, the stakeholders were able to agree on a number of core focus areas and activities and confirmed their agreement on future collective efforts. 16 organizations confirmed their interest in backing the development of the Kilimanjaro Water Stewardship Platform.

Accord to continue 2030 WRG program by Governing Council

Vaillant_Arena_DavosDavos, Switzerland, 21 January, 2016 – True to tradition, the 2030 WRG Governing Council meeting was held during the Forum’s Annual Meetings in the picturesque town of Davos, Switzerland. The council members reviewed the achievements and progress of the 2030 WRG to-date and discussed the outlook for the year ahead. The discussions were led by Chair Peter Brabeck-Letmathe.

He pointed out that 2015 was a very interesting year for development issues in general and water in particular, and he highlighted the recently adopted SDGs, the climate change agreement, as well as the Forum’s annual Global Risk Report.

Anders Berntell, 2030 WRG Executive Director, presented the progress, achievements and results during 2015 and asked the Governing Council members to reflect and give feedback on the presentation.

The Council members were very satisfied with the way that 2030 WRG has been able to build and institutionalize effective and committed partnerships in the countries where it is active. It was reported in the meeting that 2030WRG now has 297 active partners as participants in Steering Boards and working groups in the 9 countries/states where such multi-stakeholder platforms so far have been established. This is on average over 30 partners in each partnership, which is a very positive development.

The members said that in the context of adaptation to climate change, the 2030 WRG program becomes even more relevant. In both the agreement on the SDGs and in the Paris agreement on Climate Change, there has been a strong emphasis on the need to develop partnerships between public, private and civil society to facilitate the implementation of the respective agreements. 2030WRG is an excellent already existing example of such a partnership, working at global as well as national levels, which could also inspire others.

The Governing Council members were all pleased with the results so far, and in particular with the number of programs in different countries that are now starting to get implemented on the ground, with substantial impact in terms of less water abstracted from rivers and aquifers, reduced waste-water being emitted and increased productivity per drop of water in agriculture, Other programs that will also be implemented shortly are covering economic incentives, including water tariffs for industrial use of water. They expressed their own organization’s continued commitment and support, and wanted to see the program continue. It was said that water will always be a priority, and they also recognized that continuing 2030 WRG is important for the continuity of the programs and partnerships in the countries where we work, thereby realizing that building partnerships is something that is a long-term investment.

The Governing Council members agreed in principle to continue the program beyond the current June 2017 funding phase and welcomed the idea to explore engagement opportunities in more countries. The Council approved the budget and requested the Secretariat to prepare for the upcoming mid-year Governing Council meeting, as part of the preparation for the development of a new Strategic Plan for the work of 2030WRG beyond 2017.

 

United Nations, World Bank Group Launch High-Level Panel on Water in Davos

Vaillant_Arena_DavosDavos-Klosters, Switzerland, 21 January 2016 – The Secretary-General of the United Nations and the President of the World Bank jointly announced today at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2016 their intention to form a new panel to mobilize urgent action on the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) for water, sanitation and related targets.

Co-chaired by the President of Mauritius and the President of Mexico, the panel will comprise a group of heads of state and government from developed and developing countries. It will also engage with a wide range of stakeholders and experts and leverage the networks and platforms of the Forum in support of its objectives.

“Water is a precious resource, crucial to realizing the SDGs, which at their heart aim to eradicate poverty,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “The new Panel can help motivate the action we need to turn ideas into reality. The United Nations system, including through UN Water and the United Nations development system’s universal operational presence, is committed to promote inclusive and country-led action on SDG6 and related targets.”

Convened by the United Nations Secretary-General and the President of the World Bank Group, the panel will:

  • Motivate action – focus public-policy dialogue, private-sector models and practices and civil society initiatives towards the Water SDG
  • Advocate financing and implementation – promote efforts to mobilize financial resources and scale up investment for the Water SDG, including through innovative financing and implementation strategies

“The World Economic Forum is delighted to support the High-Level Panel on Water, and recognizes the critical role it will play. Our Global Risks 2016 report placed water crises in the top three global risks of highest impact in the next 10 years. Leveraging our platform and networks will allow public-private cooperation to help advance the panel’s important objective to promote water-resilient economic growth in a warming world,” said Dominic Waughray, Head of Public-Private Partnership at the World Economic Forum.

The announcement was made at the Annual Meeting 2016 to a group of over 70 leaders drawn from government, business, civil society, development organizations, international and UN organizations.

“Achieving the water global goal would have multiple benefits, including laying the foundations for food and energy security, sustainable urbanization, and ultimately climate security” said World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. “My hope is that this panel accelerates action in many countries so that we can make water more accessible to all,” he said.

Leaders from business and other sectors welcomed the High-Level Panel on Water, and emphasized the need for this initiative to catalyse practical action.

“The High-Level Panel is an important effort. The mark of success for the panel will be practical action and tangible impact. Let this be an opportunity to break down silos at the highest level and collaborate with the private sector and others, building on existing partnerships and initiatives to bring these efforts to scale and to transform the water agenda,” said Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman of Nestle and Chairman of the 2030 Water Resources Group.

Over 2,500 leaders from business, government, international organizations, civil society, academia, media and the arts are participating in the 46th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, on 20-23 January. The theme of this year’s meeting is Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Taking a formative role in shaping the discussion at the Annual Meeting 2016 as the Co-Chairs are: Mary Barra, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, General Motors, USA; Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Brussels; Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft Corporation, USA; Hiroaki Nakanishi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Hitachi, Japan; Tidjane Thiam, Chief Executive Officer, Credit Suisse, Switzerland; and Amira Yahyaoui, Founder and Chair, Al Bawsala, Tunisia.


 

Fon Mathuros, Head of Media, Public Engagement, Tel.: +41 (0)79 201 0211; Email: fmathuro@weforum.org

  • United Nations and World Bank announce launch of High-Level Panel on Water today at World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2016
  • Panel to mobilize urgent action on the Sustainable Development Goal for water, sanitation and related targets
  • Co-chaired by the President of Mauritius and the President of Mexico, the panel will comprise a group of heads of state and government from developed and developing countries