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Sector Drilldown: Water Thursday, 9 May 2013 Panelists: Beaudean Seil (Moderator), Managing Partner, Unitus Impact Koh

Lian Hock, Executive Director, Lien Aid Toshihiro Nakamura, Co-founder, Kopernik Zoe Knight, Director Climate Change Strategy, HSBC Summary: Zoe heads the Climate Change Centre of Excellence at HSBC in London that studies what themes and trends in the climate space will impact clients and broader society. The centre seeks to see how capital flows can differ based on this research. She said climate change makes resource stresses worse in the areas of water, energy and food and the inter-linkages are all too clear. The lack of availability of clean water is a local impact. India and China are particularly impacted by localized stresses of water, she said. Water disrupts energy by impacting thermal power generation. It disrupts food via diminished harvests. It creates pinch points that ultimately affect a country's economic competitiveness. Water per capita levels are stressed for India, South Korea, South Africa and Saudi Arabia. India is the most vulnerable country overall, as it has the biggest contribution to its economy from agriculture among G20 countries (17 percent of GDP, compared to 3-5% of others). Moreover, India has 25 percent of the world's water withdrawals for agriculture. The second is China, where 47 percent of GDP is driven from water-stressed regions, making water availability a critical economic issue there too. Lian Hock talked about Lien Aids mission to make safe water and sanitation available. Lien Aid works in Cambodia, China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia. It is jointly funded by the Lien Foundation and Nanyang Technology University (NTU). Producing clean water is relatively costly, Lian Hock said. Lien Aids Water Project in a village in Cambodia built three treatment plants benefitting 2,653 people. It is in process of building an additional 11 water treatment plants helping 30,000 people in Siem Reap and Kampong Chnang. Another example is from China, where Guizhou lacks water infrastructure, has water sources that are polluted and frequent dry spells. There, Lien Aid has constructed water storage facilities, installed a water distribution system and created hygiene awareness training programmes. The organisation expects to impact 11 villages and about 20,000 people and subsequently 30 villages, benefitting 30,000 people. According to him the main success factors in these projects are advocacy and education so that awareness can be raised demand for access to clean water can be driven.

Toshihiro said that Kopernik, based in Japan, is binging life-changing technologies to the last mile by connecting manufacturers of technology, local organisations (distribution partners), and funders (individuals and corporations). He said local technology agents are selling technologies to local communities on a consignment basis. Kopernik arranges delivery of technologies to the local partners. Since launching in 2010, it has reached over 100,000 people in 13 countries. Lian Hock said that Lien Aid often works with doctors in villages in teaching them about contaminants in water. He said that convincing the community to spend money on water purification is not as straightforward as one might think. Zoe said that research can help in how one can factor natural capital into economic forecasts. She added that HSBC has worked with the London School of Economics and their Grantham Institute. She added that large corporations are engaged in impact investing in the areas of education, environment and health. The key take away from the panel discussion was that while one foundation or corporation can make a difference in this pace, for true solutions of scale, collaboration is necessary. Venture philanthropy can also help local communities raise their own funds for clean water through microfinancing.