Filipinos, especially those who lived in Metro Manila panicked on the recent water shortage we experienced a few weeks ago. The saying "You'll never missed it, until it's gone" is really apt for this. We don't care if we are already wasting a lot of water, but felt guilty only after the water crisis.
Did you know that according to a recent report from the Asian Development Bank states that as of 2002, some 699 million people in the Asia-Pacific region had no access to safe drinking water? (“Asia Water Watch 2015” published jointly by the Asian Development Bank, UNDP, UNESCAP and the World Health Organization in 2006). This report also mentioned that the Philippine water use and water supply situation has actually regressed—that is, as more and more Filipinos need water in rural and urban areas, water supply is actually decreasing. In the next few years, the Philippines could be facing a serious water crisis with tragic consequences. So, How do we deal with this emerging crisis?
The recent Creating Shared Value (CSV) Forum held at the New World Hotel discussed how corporations could work with government, Non Government Organizations (NGOs) and other stakeholders in ensuring safe water for both urban and rural communities. Mr. Arjun Thapan, Special Senior Advisor to the President on Infrastructure and Water of the Asian Development Bank led the discussion.
Thapan revealed that the Asian Development Bank is encouraging the private sector and government to invest in water, specifically targeting the poorest areas, where people need water and sanitation most urgently.
Water: Agriculture, Corporate And Domestic Use
Thapan said that in reality, the inefficient use of water that results in wasted resources and shortages is not primarily the fault of big corporations & households. The major contributor to dwindling water supply in the Philippines and other countries-- is agriculture. He added that “The Philippines has a low rating when it comes to the efficient use of water in its agriculture sector. Both the government and the private sector can work together to improve that efficiency. The efficient use of water in agriculture ensures not only water supply but food supply as well."
|Mr. Arjun Thapan, Special Senior Advisor to the President on Infrastructure and Water of the Asian Development Bank|
“Nestlé has practiced CSV long before the term was invented—since it was founded 140 years ago, in fact. The efficient, safe and sustainable use of Water is actually one of the pillars of the Nestlé CSV approach. The other two are Nutrition and Rural Development.
Edith De Leon also pointed out that Nestlé is implementing the Sustainable Agricultural Initiative (SAI) and the Coffee-Based Sustainable Farming System (CBSFS). These important programs teach farmers coffee-growing methods that improve the quantity & quality of their coffee beans in the most environment friendly and sustainable way.
“Nestlé agronomists teach farmers to construct catch basins in their farms—essentially these are ponds designed to catch and store rainfall for use as irrigation. These ponds can also be used in raising fish for extra income. At the coffee roasting facility, water used in cleaning and processing coffee beans is recycled. Sustainable agriculture promoted by Nestlé even goes beyond efficient water use. Coffee farmers who are trained—for free—at the Nestlé Experimental and Demonstration Farm (NEDF) in Davao City learn to plant other cash crops alongside their coffee trees for added income. They are taught to plant crops that help prevent soil erosion.
Nestlé Philippines in partnership with the Asian Development Bank, the Philippine Business for Social Progress and the Asian Institute of Management RVR Center for Social Responsibility organized the Philippine CSV Forum to encourage big corporations, people from the government and other society stakeholders to embrace Creating Shared Value as a catalyst for a more socially progressive Philippines.