Saturday, March 13, 2010

International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) and Diageo come together for Water

The International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) is working with Diageo (one of my favorite companies ever) to host a series of water meetings in Africa.

Meetings will take place during World Water Week (March 22-26) in Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon (Kenya and South Africa later).  Water experts and advocates in those countries should be aware of these meetings and hopefully participate.

A good place to learn more is:
More details from their site:
Water: A Business Imperative is a series of business-led roundtables with government, NGO and UN representatives to discuss water policy and management. The series will take place around the world, beginning with local events in five African countries during the week of 22-26 March 2010 in recognition of the UN World Water Day on March 22. The initiative will culminate in New York at the United Nations Global Compact Leaders Summit in June.

The roundtable events will begin to identify operational pathways through which companies can contribute to water policy goals, highlighting which methods of engagement have proved effective and equitable, and describing some of the common pitfalls of engagement. The dialogue will also provide the basis for general strategies to address shared risks and principles that can be applied to all types of engagement. The ultimate objective of Water: A Business Imperative is to facilitate responsible corporate engagement with water policy in a manner that reduces business risks while simultaneously advancing policy goals and positively impacting nearby communities and ecosystems.

A white paper will be produced from each roundtable, documenting and analysing the concepts, practical steps, and case studies discussed. Each of the five national white papers will be presented at the UN CEO Water Mandate forum in April 2010 to provide an African business perspective on water public policy. Together, the white papers represent an important part of the private sector’s contribution to the UN Millennium Development Goal 7 - improving access to water and sanitation.

..Objectives.The overarching objective of Water: A Business Imperative is to:

•Provide examples of responsible corporate engagement on water policy in Africa

Locally in Africa, the objectives are to:

•Identify examples of how companies can collectively contribute to national water policy goals

•Build the business case as to why companies should contribute to national water policy goals by identifying shared risks and highlighting business benefits

•Collectively agree on action points to achieve the UN MDG 7

One of the key outcomes of the each roundtable will be to provide participants with a framework that allows them to align different hydrologic, economic, and political contexts with the appropriate policy engagement responses. The country discussions will aim to explore how the parties involved – both corporate and non-corporate – influence corporate approaches to engagement as well as outcomes. Dialogue on corporate water policy engagement will enable businesses to:

•Identify common business challenges or concerns about water

•Identify resources and activities businesses can do to address or reduce these challenges

•Identify what partnerships are needed to address or reduce these challenges

•Identify how core competencies of businesses and other stakeholders can help achieve the UN MDGs

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