Did you know that World Maritime Day has been celebrated for 36 years? In that time the importance of the maritime industry to our global economy has grown immensely, reflected by the growth of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) from 21 member states to 170 member states.
Cape Town, 11 Sep 2014. By 2030 an expected 40% of Africans will be living in cities. How do we build an African Urban Green Legacy?
Johannesburg, 19 August 2014. As Africa increasingly integrates with the global economy, it is faced with the significant and complex challenge of balancing the sustainable use of its natural resources with the need for rapid economic growth and social progress.
Johannesburg, 17 July 2014. International engineering and project management consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV, in cooperation with consultancy firm HKV, has been appointed by the United Nations Development Programme for the provision of services to develop disaster risk and early warning systems in Ghana.
Johannesburg, 17 July 2014. All over the world, nations have respected and admired Mandela for his unfailing integrity, his belief in democracy and collective leadership. He had the talent to inspire friend and foe alike. Children, world-leaders, academics, pop stars, the underprivileged, the wealthy, the frail – he is loved and revered to an unmatched degree.
Johannesburg, 11 July 2014. Known as ‘the land of a thousand hills’, Rwanda is famous for its lush highlands, deep valleys and Mountain Gorillas. But it’s the low-lying land currently causing concern among the country’s rapidly increasing population.
Johannesburg, 17 June 2014. Joining Cycology and the Green Building Council of South Africa is Royal HaskoningDHV, an international consultant company, in a campaign to create awareness of green mobility alternatives with a focus on electric bicycle commuting and the development of cycling routes throughout Sandton.
5 June 2014, The half-way point has been reached in the important climate change vulnerability assessment currently underway by Royal HaskoningDHV for The Swartland Municipality, on the Cape West Coast. The project involves the towns and surrounding areas of Malmesbury, Moorreesburg, Yzerfontein, and Darling.
Johannesburg, 8 June 2014. Despite living in the age of high technology and convenience, sometimes situations demand a more traditional approach to accessing essential information.
Johannesburg, 22 May 2014. Did you know that Southern Africa’s landscape is one of the most globally diverse? Its Cape Floral Kingdom for example, is one of only six floral kingdoms in the world. This ecosystem supports 9,600 recorded plant species, 70% of which are found nowhere else on the planet. Yet this precious asset is under threat by invasive alien plant species.
Johannesburg, 15 May 2014. Royal HaskoningDHV, South Africa and Shuma Africa Projects signed an Enterprise Development Agreement in Johannesburg on the 8th May 2014.
Why is heritage so important to us? We believe it’s because time-honoured traditions, buildings and landscapes help shape our social identity and provide us all with a sense of connection; to each other, to our communities, and to the past. This connection is what grounds us and gives us all a sense of direction.
Chairman of the Board, Nestlé SA
Chairman 2030 Water Resources Group
We speak to the Nestlé Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe who Comes Clean on the Water Challenge and shares his views on the future of water and food. Peter Brabeck-Letmathe is Chairman of the Board of Directors for Nestlé – the largest food company in the world. In addition to his Nestlé position, Peter chairs The 2030 Water Resources Group (WRG) - a public-private collaboration that promotes action on water resource reform in water-stressed developing economies. Reflecting on the challenges Nestlé would face in the next 140 years, he concluded that rapidly growing water withdrawal for agriculture, energy production, domestic and industrial use poses the greatest threat to a sustainable future for both commerce and consumer prosperity.
Knowledgeable, ambitious and in great demand, we were fortunate enough to secure a moment of his time this month to talk about the challenges surrounding water and food, and his visions for the future:
Back in 2006, you said that the growing gap between water use (withdrawal) and supply would be the most critical choke point for global food security in the next 10-20 years. Is this message getting through to governments and citizens around the world?
“Yes. In many places around the world awareness of water overuse is increasing and so is an understanding that this overuse is a major risk for the future prosperity and wellbeing of people, global food security and, not least, a threat for the basic freshwater needs of the poorest.
“Over the last three years, the World Economic Forum Global Risk Report, for instance, placed water among the top three risks worldwide – describing it as a societal risk. A second observation is that governments were often aware of what was happening - including the drying of lakes and rivers and the falling water tables of underground aquifers - but did not want to take action because of the politically and socially delicate nature of the subject. But once they saw analytical work done by groups like WRG showing that solutions are affordable, many began to get involved in broad public-private partnerships aimed at getting to the root of the problem.”
In your opinion, who has the real power to make changes to the way we use water?
“Water is local, so the power to make changes is also local. Responsibility lies with the stakeholders around a watershed, and in the first place with the national and/or local authorities who can guide cost-effective action within a comprehensive and credible strategy with the aim of bringing freshwater withdrawals back in line with natural renewal.
“A single water goal in the post-2015 UN Development Goals would help to sharpen the focus on what matters most in the relatively complex water context; targets for access to safe water and sanitation, for wastewater collection and treatment, and last but not least reducing overuse - today mainly at the expense of the environment.”
Companies like Royal HaskoningDHV deal with worldwide water issues such as too much (flood) or too little (drought) every day. In your opinion, how can organisations like ours get involved in the public/private sector debate and ultimately help to plan, implement and achieve real results?
“Again, I think solutions must be local. I imagine that involvement of knowledge-driven companies like Royal HaskoningDHV in local stakeholder groups as set up by the 2030 WRG or by other public-private partnerships could add value, i.e., provide tools and context for authorities and local stakeholders around a watershed who have to make the decisions and implement water strategies.”
How can these stakeholders around a watershed encourage smart water use?
“It all starts with understanding that water has a value - an understanding that is often still lacking. Introducing a price for all water used beyond the amount that is defined as human right, i.e., necessary for survival, might help. But ultimately, the value of water – user value, societal value, value for the environment, etc. will always be bigger than its price. It needs the right institutions and also the technology, particularly for metering.”
Other than investing in water recycling and reduction programmes, what role can industry play in helping manage the water crisis?
“Each sector has its own role, its own water needs, and its own opportunities to contribute to more efficient water use. In the case of Nestlé for instance, in addition to significant water savings in our factories, we help farmers in our supply chain in their efforts around freshwater. Water is one of the three pillars of our programme to create shared value with a large number of other projects and initiatives beyond our own operations. I know that many other companies undertake similar action. We’re also part of the public policy dialogue on water strategies both globally and in countries where we operate, and we play a loyal part in implementing such strategies wherever we can add value.”
Read More - Water Challenge - a blog by Peter Brabeck-Letmathe: www.Water-Challenge.com
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