AWS International Water Stewardship Standard Draft Stakeholder Consultation Meet on 18 Oct in New Delhi

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INDIACSR News Network

NEW DELHI: Stakeholder Consultation on first draft of the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) International Water Stewardship Standard developed by the AWS (www.allianceforwaterstewardship.org) will promote Water Stewardship among organizations around the world.  First Stakeholder Consultation meet will be held at WWF (India), 172-B Lodi Estate, New Delhi – 110 003 on 18th October, 2012 during  2pm – 7pm.

During the meeting burning topics-current water situation in India, FICCI, role of AWS International Water standard, Alliance Water Stewardship (AWS), introduction to the Water Action Hub to be discussed.

Water Problem in ChhattisgarhThe Centre for Responsible Business (CRB), FICCI and WWF have collaborated and invited AWS to India to present the first draft of the International Water Stewardship Standard for Stakeholder Consultation. Mr. Adrian Sym, Executive Director of AWS would be presenting the International Water Stewardship Standard for consultation.

Additionally, Mr. Jason Morrison, Technical Director, UN CEO Water Mandate would be available from the US, through a video conference, to present the Water Action Hub in the Stakeholder Consultation.

“We are inviting a select group of representatives across industry, government, and civil society organizations for the Stakeholder Consultation and aim to discuss and gather feedback on the first draft of the AWS International Water Stewardship Standard. Similar consultations have been held in various countries around the world during its first public feedback period. “Dr. Bimal Arora, Chief Executive, Officer, Centre for Responsible Business  (CRB),informed INDIACSR.

The mission of the AWS is to promote responsible internal (organizational) and external (watershed) actions undertaken to optimize water benefits for society, the environment and the economy. The International Water Stewardship Standard is intended to provide water stewards with an approach for evaluating existing processes and performances within their sites (or facilities) and watersheds, and ensuring that responsible water stewardship actions are taking place.

There is an urgent need for organizations today to sustainably manage the water resources that they consume (use). It need not be emphasized that the world will face a 40% gap between expected demand and available supply of water by 2030 due to the large and growing population. Not only are we facing a challenge of water quantity today, pollution of water sources has led to increasing challenge of water quality.

A mid-term appraisal of the 11th Five-year Plan of India has stated that the annual extraction of ground water in India is by far the highest in the world and the unsustainable over-extraction has lowered the water table to dangerous levels, and the viability of the private sector operations and activity too is at stake. Additionally, water pollution from industrial effluents, sewage and agricultural pesticides is putting a strain on the water that is available.

A 2005 World Bank Report stated unless water management practices are changed – and changed soon – India will face a severe water crisis within the next two decades and will neither have the cash to build new infrastructure, nor the water needed by its growing economy and rising population.

Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) :The Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) is a unique centre of excellence in the Business Responsibility sphere – voluntary standards, sustainable development and corporate social responsibility (CSR) – which supports and assists stakeholders across the global value chain as they move towards a more sustainable and responsible future. Hand-in-hand with actors across the value chain – from transnational brands and buyers, local manufacturers and suppliers (SMEs), national, international organisations and civil society organisations, to governments -the CRB fosters and promotes responsible behaviours and business practices by addressing the growing need and demand for training and advisory services.

WWF : WWF-India is one of the largest conservation organisations engaged in wildlife and nature conservation in the country. Established as a Charitable Trust on November 27, 1969, it has an experience of over four decades in the field. Its mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment, which addresses through its work in biodiversity conservation and reduction on humanity’s ecological footprint. A challenging, constructive, science-based organisation WWF addresses issues like the survival of species and habitats, climate change and energy, sustainable forest management, water resources/ river basin management, sustainable agriculture as well as marine and freshwater conservation. The programmes work across sector and regions in various parts of the country. In addition to conservation of biodiversity through field work WWF-India also aims to transform the policies and practices of key industrial sectors to reduce their ecological footprint and develop innovative sustainable solutions.

FICCI: FICCI is the largest and oldest apex business organisation in India. It works closely with the government on policy issues, enhancing efficiency, competitiveness and expanding business opportunities for industry through a range of specialised services and global linkages. It also provides a platform for sector specific consensus building and networking. FICCI constituted a Water Mission to promote water conservation across FICCI membership and beyond. Through research, advocacy, awareness creation and best practices sharing, the Mission is working to make industry more responsive in managing our scarce water resources.

(A file photo)

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