Business Action for Water

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Contents

Introduction

Business Action for Water was formed in 2004 by the International Chamber of Commerce and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Their remit was clear: to provide a business perspective at the 13th session (11-22 April 2005) of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), which focused on water, sanitation and human settlements.

Originally intended to be an ad-hoc temporary organisation, Business Action for Water was renewed for the 5th World Water Forum in Istanbul, 2009 [1]. Providing the unitary voice for business, the purpose of Business Action for Water at the World Water Forum was unambiguous.

"The overall aim of Business Action for Water is to profile business and industry as positive agents to achieve the goals, commitments and activities of the World Water Forum. It will try to achieve this by 1) communicating and promoting business contributions as a partner in water-related issues, and 2) ensuring business has a seat at the water table, i.e., that the needs and interests of business are also taken into account in a reasonable and equitable way by the international community" [2].

Members and links

The original founders of Business Action for Water, the International Chamber of Commerce and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development represent scores of businesses. As they acknowledge they bring 'together a comprehensive network of businesses, large and small, drawn from many sectors and regions around the world' [3].

The renewed Business Action for Water which prepared for and then worked at the World Water Forum also included private water lobbyists Aquafed, as well as the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD. The Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD has an ad-hoc water committee. The Chairman of the Ad-Hoc water group at the Business and Industry Advisory Committee is, coincidentally, Jack Moss a senior figure at Aquafed [4].

Objectives

As has been made clear the objectives of Business Action for Water is to promote the interests of private business in any discussions relating to water policy at a global level.

Amongst their arguments is to raise the political profile of water amongst decision-makers. Moreover, that governments invest in water infrasructure as part of their their 'economic stimulus programs' introduced in various countries to tackle the current economic crisis [5].

The type of decisions they wish to see made by decision makers were made pretty clear in their contribution to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. They reminded the commission of the need to marry the cononomic, social and environmental as well as their abilities and their willingness to assist in tackling the MDG's. Curiously, they state they have "offered these successful approaches to be replicated and scaled up wherever they could render results" [6]. Other contributions echo other pro-business organisations and institutions. For instance, how "Business looks to governments to provide the necessary enabling frameworks, as business can only operate effectively in a strong and stable legal, regulatory and economic context" and "Conditions and mechanisms should be put in place and strengthened that will encourage the development and implementation of low cost debt financing for water and sanitation projects that will attract funds nationally and internationally" [7].

References

  1. International Chamber of Commerce Environment and Energy Business Action for Water Accessed 6th January 2010
  2. Business Action for Water - The Business Network Dedicated to the World Water Forum Accessed 6th January 2010
  3. Business Action for Water
  4. BIAC Ad-Hoc group on Water profile Accessed 6th January 2010
  5. Business Action for Water BUSINESS CALLS ON ISTANBUL FORUM TO RAISE POLITICAL PROFILE OF WATER Accessed 6th January 2010
  6. Business Action for Water 13th SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, 11-22 APRIL 2005 BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY MAJOR GROUP STATEMENT Accessed 6th January 2010
  7. Business Action for Water 13th SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, 11-22 APRIL 2005 BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY MAJOR GROUP STATEMENT Accessed 6th January 2010
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