World water day workshop: climate-proof investing and managing climate risks

World water day workshop: climate-proof investing and managing climate risks

Photo from left to right: Jan Willem Vosmeer – CSR Manager Heineken International, Aart van den Bos – Founder Verbos, Marco Schouten – CEO Vitens Evides International (VEI), Jan Burger – Sustainability manager Coca Cola

The availability of water and sanitation is worldwide under pressure. This is leading to more food shortages, depletion of natural resources and land subsidence. Climate change and demographic and economic developments have made us aware of the need to draw attention to these global challenges. This year ‘s theme was “Water and Sustainable Development”.  During the Dutch event of  the World Water Day 2015, the SDG 6 ‘Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all ” is central.

2015-03-20 16.22.42

The program consists of interesting speakers, pitches and workshops. Verbos participated in an interesting panel discussion of the ”Climate proof investing and managing climate risk” workshop, organised by the Dutch Agricultural Water Climate Alliance of IUCN and NWP. In many lower-middle income countries production and investments in/of water and agriculture are at risk due to climate change. This means that food production, trade and local communities are more vulnerable than ever. Two panels discussion were held with representatives of Standard & Poor’s, Aegon, Heineken, Coca Cola, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, FMO, VEI and also Verbos.

The most important conclusions were that climate finance should be structured jointly. There isn’t simply a big pot of money for investments. The two major challenges are linking the financial sector to the water and agricultural sectors that have commerciable potential. In most cases, the promising projects must be brought to scale. Another challenge is to integrate climate change adoptation and mitigation solutions, such as the ASA group being presented by Verbos, a multi-stakeholder business initiative that addresses water scarcity and vulnerable food supply chains. These are important opportunities and challenges for the networks of IUCN and NWP to work on in collaboration with governments, NGO’s and companies that are active in the water sector.