Water Stewardship and the Private Sector
Partner: Nestlé Pakistan
Time Frame: 2017- ongoing
Project Team: Dr Imran Khalid, Ahmed Awais Khaver, Samavia Batool
For more information: Ahmed Awais Khaver, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) has, over the years, forged a successful partnership with public sector organizations in Pakistan. However, it is also recognized that effective partnership and collaboration amongst for-profit, non-profit and public sector entities is essential for addressing our environmental governance problems. In this respect, Sustainable Development Policy Institute and Nestlé Pakistan signed a MoU on Mar 24, 2017, to collaborate on the theme of Water Stewardship which will promote responsible use of water resources in Pakistan. Under this MOU, Nestlé Pakistan and SDPI have identified and prioritized opportunities and challenges for sustainable water management, presenting Water Stewardship as an effective means to address this challenge. In particular, this MOU acts as a knowledge dissemination platform on the responsible use of water particularly in the agriculture and industry sector.
The objectives of the SDPI and Nestle Pakistan partnership are twofold, with focus on water governance advocacy and water management research. Since the signing of the MoU, the two organizations have conducted multiple events in Islamabad and Lahore, with focus on mainstreaming the concept water stewardship in the countrys water governance paradigm. These advocacy events stressed the need of sustainable water management by the private sector and their role in sustainable development.
SDPI also aims to conduct on-ground research with respect to water stewardship initiatives in Pakistan as well as issues pertaining to irrigation efficiency and groundwater management. In this context SDPI has developed a policy brief that looks at the role of private sector in highlighting and adopting the concept of water stewardship. The document recommends multiple avenues through which private sector can play a larger role towards improved water governance. The Policy brief was launched at the Sustainable Development Conference in Islamabad during a panel discussion, which comprised stakeholders from the government, private sector, civil society and academia.
Selected project findings:
- Corporate sector entities already involved in implementing water stewardship initiatives can play an integral role in enhancing the capacity of other businesses. This can be done through the formation of a water network that comprises businesses as well as research institutes from the government, non-governmental sector, and academia.
- Information dissemination is the key to advocacy. Corporate sector entities should ensure that data in terms of water withdrawals for operations and supply chain is made public on a regular basis. Moreover, information in terms of the quality of water that is being extracted or withdrawn should also be made public. This will ensure trust building and confidence enhancement.
- No water stewardship initiative can be completed without the involvement of local communities. They should be made an integral part of any initiative that aims to foster sustainable acquisition and use of water resources.
- The concept of Water Stewardship should be integrated into national, regional and local water policies and plans in order to mainstream sustainable and efficient water resources management across sectors. Collaborative research initiatives need to be undertaken so as to bridge the information gaps particularly as they pertain to risks due to climate change.
- SMEs (working within the water industry and other associated industries with high water usage) have an important role to play in water management and conservation. There is however, a need to build their capacity so that they fully understand water risks and their potential role in water stewardship in terms of collective action.
- The project was initially designed for the year 2017-18 but has since been extended to 2018-2019. It is expected that SDPI will continue to work towards effective water governance advocacy and water resources management research during this period.