On 24th of July 2018, the Water Stewardship Working Group organized 4th working group meeting at WWF-Myanmar Office. The meeting purpose was to update all participants regarding their current water concerns and activities. Moreover, Hannah Baleta introduced a new tool, "Water Risk Filter", an online tool to help companies assess their water risk. Specifically, the tool helps companies identify their company-related water risks in addition to catchment water risks. The tool also distinguishes between physical, regulatory and reputational water risks. Then, Salai Thura Zaw showed the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) standards and discussed about feasibility to engage with AWS for future activities.
WWF Myanmar's current engagement with private sector on water efficiency and wastewater management in industrial areas was also introduced briefly. For example, the Tha Bar Wa project focuses on supporting companies increase their water and energy use efficiency through both technical support and training on how to access finance.
Why does WWF Myanmar care about water stewardship?
The 2018 Global Risks Report, published by WEF every year, is a summary of the top risks facing the globe today. For the past five years, water, and water-related challenges have increasingly topped the list as the highest likelihood as well as impact facing the world.
Myanmar is not immune to these risks. It is the second-most vulnerable country in the world to climate change. Flooding is experienced in regions across the country, while in the same year, other regions have no access to piped water. Globally, the private sector has increasingly recognized it is not immune to these risks, and should play a role in their collective mitigation through water stewardship.
Acknowledging the importance of private sector collaboration in basin-wide water management through an individual and collective approach, the Myanmar Water Stewardship Working Group was initiated in December 2016. To date, three meetings have been held, which have resulted in the development of the Group's Credo, Objectives and possible Work Plans.