Mexico City, July 19, 2019.– Innovation, collective action for governance, investment, best practices for the sustainable use of water in agriculture and how to build impact projects harnessing the power of nature, were some of the central topics of the Water Funds Summit, which took place on July 18 and 19 at Hilton’s Historic Center Hotel in Mexico City.
The inaugural ceremony was attended by Dr. Blanca Jiménez Cisneros, General Director of CONAGUA; Juan Pablo Del Valle, President of the Mexichem Council, President of Agua Capital and Co-Leader of the Latin American Conservation Council (LACC); Roberto Campa, Director of Corporate Affairs of FEMSA; Wisla Heneghan, Director of Operations and General Counsel of The Nature Conservancy (TNC); Tomás Bermúdez, Country Representative of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); Christian Severin, Leader of International Waters of the Global Environment Facility (GEF); and Emmanuel Acha, known in the artistic medium as Emmanuel, and President of the Hombre Naturaleza Foundation.
Dr. Blanca Jiménez stressed that water is on the priority list of the Government of Mexico, and urged those present to work together to make this priority effective. He also emphasized the advantages of Mexico having an organization like CONAGUA, where all the issues are treated as a whole. “The topic of water is immense. In most countries there are no agencies that handle the issue completely”, she said.
Juan Pablo Del Valle emphasized that one of the most important challenges of the big cities in the world is to guarantee water security for all, as well as the management of their wastewater, a priority supported by the members of LACC, a group of entrepreneurs that promote the sustainable development of the region.
Latin America has three cities that run the risk of running out of water soon: Sao Paulo, Lima and Mexico City. In addition to them, another 13 of the largest cities in the region already suffer from water stress.
Wisla Heneghan spoke about the scope that the efforts like those of the Water Fund Summit have in the rethinking of solutions: ““This event will be a catalyst for the making of new relationships, through which we’ll be able to rethink the water challenges we face. This type of event makes us think that, although we share a feeling of emergency, hope is also present”, she said.
The Latin American Water Fund Partnership, made up by TNC, IDB, FEMSA Foundation, the GEF and the International Climate Protection Initiative (IKI) of the German Government, promotes water security in the region through the creation and strengthening of funds of water: organizations that design and promote financial and governance mechanisms, articulating private, public and civil society actors in order to contribute to water security through nature-based solutions and sustainable management of the water basins.
In this regard, after explaining the importance of the private sector in the sum of efforts related to this issue, Roberto Campa, Director of Corporate Affairs of FEMSA, announced a strong commitment: “We are committed to this cause. We will invest $ 150 million pesos in the next 5 years to seek water security in Latin America”, he said.
In the first stage from its creation in 2011 to 2016, the Latin American Water Fund Partnership invested around $200 million pesos, and so far has committed an additional $300 million for its second stage by 2024. The organization has promoted the creation and development of 24 water funds in Latin America, mobilized by public and private investments for more than $ 3.8 billion pesos. The projects promoted by the water funds have intervened more than 227,000 hectares with strategic natural infrastructure, benefiting more than 24,000 families.
Tomás Bermúdez, Mexico’s representative at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), said that Latin America and the Caribbean have a third of the planets fresh water reserves, but that of the 100% of the wastewater generated in this region, only 23% is treated compared to 60% of the treatment carried out in advanced countries.
The Summit also had the support of civil society organizations, such as the Cinépolis Foundation, the LACC, the Hombre Naturaleza Foundation, ECOFILM Festival and companies such as Grupo Modelo, HEINEKEN México and Nestlé.
Emmanuel spoke in favor of water care, emphasizing the power of the citizens to face the water challenges we face today: There is a shared social stress that revolves around the water prolematics, which is making us react. Governments cannot do everything; society has to understand that it also has a civil responsibility to push change”, he said.
The keynote lectures were given by Dr. Blanca Jiménez, Head of CONAGUA; Sergio Campos, Head of the IDBs Water and Sanitation Division and Rafael Carmona, head of SACMEX. The different sessions included Luis Darío Rodríguez Ochoa, from Coca-Cola FEMSA; Sergio Fajardo of ITESM; Andrea Erickson of TNC; Mariano Montero of FEMSA Foundation; Arturo Nieto of the Guanajuato Government; Andre Fourie of ABInBev, Global of Grupo Modelo; Frank Loge of the Center for Water-Energy Efficiency at the University of California, Davis; Devanir García of the National Water Agency of Brazil; Gerardo Garza of Water and Drainage Services of Monterrey; Camilo Sánchez of ANDESCO, who talked about the experience of services and government working together in the Water Coalition for Colombia, among many other experts from Mexico and Latin America, who gathered throughout the Summit.
The event exceeded expectations in content and attendance, with a totally full quota. The conferences will be available at: www.cumbresfondosdeagua.com. Many of the tools developed by the Partnership can be consulted online at www.fondosdeagua.org or on its social networks: Twitter @Fondos_de_agua and Facebook.com/Latin American Water Funds Partnership.
About the Latin American Water Funds Partnership
The Latin American Water Funds Partnership is an agreement created in 2011 between the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), FEMSA Foundation, the Global Environment Facility and (GEF) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to contribute to water security in Latin America and the Caribbean through the creation and strengthening of Water Funds. The Partnership continuously supports existing Water Funds, and those in the process of creation, through scientific knowledge to attain and sustain water security through nature-based solutions; the systematization, management and dissemination of knowledge; capacity building and technical support; the promotion of an inclusive dialogue among key regional stakeholders in order to promote a shared vision and collective action; the active participation in the design of water governance, public policies and corporate practices so that funds can operate and be strengthened;, and the mobilization of resources from public and private sources. Go to www.fondosdeagua.org or follow us on Twitter (@Fondos_de_agua) and Facebook.com/Alianza Latinoamericana de Fondos de Agua.
About the Nature Conservancy (TNC)
It is a global environmental organization dedicated to the conservation of the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative and practical solutions to the most urgent challenges in our world so that nature and people can thrive together. We are addressing climate change, conserving land, water and oceans on an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping to make cities more sustainable. We work in 72 countries, using a collaborative approach that involves local communities, governments, the private sector and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org/latinamerica or follow @TNCLatinamerica on Twitter, and @TNCLatinoamerica on Facebook and Instagram.
The Inter-American Development Banks mission is to improve lives. Founded in 1959, IDB is one of the main sources of long-term financing for the economic, social and institutional development of Latin America and the Caribbean. IBD also conducts research projects and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private clients throughout the region.
About FEMSA Foundation
FEMSA Foundation is an organization that aims to generate positive impacts on people and communities through social investment projects for sustainability. We work on the conservation and sustainable use of water and the promotion of early childhood development. In addition, we have added to our activities the dissemination of Latin American art and culture through the FEMSA Collection. For more information visit the site www.fundacionfemsa.org or follow us on Facebook (FundacionFEMSA) and Twitter (@FundacionFEMSA.
About International Climate Protection Initiative (IKI)
This project is part of the International Climate Protection Initiative (IKI). The Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection and Nuclear Safety (BMU) encourages the initiative by decision of the German Parliament. Learn more about IKI on their site https: //www.international-climate- initiative.com/en/ or on Twitter (@iki_bmu).
-Host water fund-
It is an innovative platform for collective collaboration – independent, plural and partisan – that seeks to combine experience, knowledge, skills and commitments of different sectors to contribute to the water security of the CDMX.
-Key Summit Partners-
About Grupo Modelo
Founded in 1925, it is a leader in the production, distribution and sale of beer in Mexico and is part of Anheuser-Busch InBev, a leading global beer company. Currently, it has 46 national brands, among which are Corona Extra, Corona Cero, Negra Modelo, Modelo Especial, Pacífico and Victoria. It exports eight Mexican brands to a great part of the world. It is an importer in Mexico of the Budweiser, Bud Light, Bud Light Ritas, Goose Island and Stella Artois brands, produced by Anheuser-Busch InBev. Through a strategic alliance with Nestlé Waters, it produces and distributes in Mexico the bottled water brands Sta. María, Nestlé Pureza Vital, Perrier and S.Pellegrino, among others.
Founded in 1890, it is the most traditional brewer in Mexico. It has 7 beer producing plants and a malt where 16 thousand people work to create the best experiences. “Bringing a Better World” is its sustainability strategy, which focuses on having a positive impact on the community and the environment. Led by Heineken®, it has the widest portfolio in the market with: Tecate®, Tecate Light®, Dos Equis®, Indio®, Sol®, Amstel Ultra®, Affligem®, Bohemia®, Miller Lite®, Noche Buena®, Strongbow Apple Ciders®, Coors Light®, Carta Blanca®, Superior® and Kloster Light®. As of May 2010, it is part of HEINEKEN, the most international brewing group.
Cinépolis Foundation was born in 2008 with the purpose of contributing to Mexico’s social justice through its three guiding axes: Visual Health, Education through Cinema and Entertainment with a Cause, with a special focus on the most vulnerable sectors of society.
About Latin America Conservation Council (LACC)
It is a unique group of global leaders, which takes advantage of its collective influence, experience and resources to make Latin America a model of environmentally responsible growth. Working closely with The Nature Conservancy, the Council was formed to accelerate innovative, effective and scalable solutions for three of the regions biggest challenges: water security, sustainable foods and smart infrastructure, so that both people and nature can flourish. Nature.org/lacc
It is the largest food and beverage company in the world. It employs 323,000 people and is present in 189 countries with the purpose of improving the quality of life and contributing to a healthier future. With more than 85 years in Mexico, Nestlé is the leading company in nutrition, health and well-being in the country, with the support of 32 Global Research Centers, 17 factories in 7 states and 16 distribution centers, in which more than 16,000 direct jobs are generated.
About Hombre Naturaleza Foundation
It was founded in 2000 by Emmanuel Acha, whose mission is to contribute to the care and conservation of the environment through social participation. He works on the principle that man is another element of nature, and is in balance when in harmony with her.
The 2019 edition of the Ecofilm Festival will focus on renewable energies, seeking to open the dialogue and expand the reflections and possibilities regarding the alternative means used in Mexico and the world for the responsible consumption of natural resources. Since its first edition in 2011, Ecofilm has presented itself as a festival that responds to the need to raise awareness within society about environmental issues, promoting audiovisual production and an ecological culture through solutions that balance the human being in interaction with their environment, as well as supporting its actions in collaboration and alliance with institutions, companies and people committed to priority environmental issues on the international agenda.