Coincidental with National Geographic's recent documentary Parched: Global Water Wars, an Economist Intelligence Unit 2017 Report examines lessons from the Mekong River Basin where water resources a-plenty sustain the livelihood of millions but remain the cause célèbre between upstream and downstream countries driven by dams-builing, urbanization, and climate change.
The EIU Report finds that -
Water abundance is not a substitute for good water governance.
The ever-growing threats of climate change, economic development and rapid population growth demand comprehensive solutions that address both increased demand for and finite availability of food, energy and water resources.
Successful water security solutions will minimize the trade-offs in the fragile food-energy-water nexus.
Water resource management is a fundamental component of food security.
Regional organisations can support water security by providing a platform for discussion, but they require stronger enforcement mechanisms to influence national-level water policy.
Improved, effective water management at the national level requires increased agency co-ordination and implementation of regulations.
Amid challenges to trans-boundary water resource management, donor, multilateral and international support for local and national interventions is critical to improving water security around the globe.
The private sector can play an important role in reducing water insecurity around the globe, but this requires more innovative action.
Recent innovations include grain and fish varieties with shorter growth duration, rice varieties with greater salinity tolerance, alternate wetting and drying (AWD) techniques for rice production, better coordination between rice and shrimp production cycles, satellite imagery and geospatial technology to reduce food insecurity, innovative water-saving and less polluting consumer products, and cross-region power grids to tap non-water renewable resources.
The Report ends with a degree of cautious optimism - albeit slow, there appears some steady progress towards water security in the Mekong River Basin.
Greetings! May I first wish you well as black swans seem to be standing the world on its head.
Even as President Trump is reaching his first 100 days, the world is no wiseron his next move . Notwithstanding his tête à tête with President Xi, US-China relations are far from settled. What is more, the world's liberal order remains under siege. Brexit may well lead to Scoxit. As for China, persistent debt, anti-corruption and slower growth notwithstanding, grand initiatives like the One Belt, One Road and the Pearl River Delta Bay Area are pushing ahead. There are other imponderables including climate change, looming water wars, an increasingly belligerent North Korea, an anxious Taiwan, and Hong Kong's prospects under its first lady Chief Executive.
Some perspective may be gained from the following -
A reportoire of inspirational music, videos, songs and words, There is also a collection in Chinese.
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Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA)
Elected Member, Royal Society for Asian Affairs
Visiting Professor, London Metropolitan University Business School
Advisory Board Member, The e-Centre, European Centre for e-Commerce and Internet Law
Advisory Board Member, The Global Analyst, India
Hong Kong Advisory Board Member, Denmark-based Executive Global Network (EGN)
Honorary Adviser, International Institute of Management (IIM)
Global Commercial Agent, Changsha City, China
(The following until 19 May 2010, on permanent relocation back to Hong Kong)
Governing Council Member, King’s College London, UK (2004-2010) Advisory Board Member, China Policy Institute, Nottingham University, UK (2005 -2010) Founding Chairman, China Group, Institute of Directors City Branch, London, UK (2006-2010) Vice Chairman, 48 Group Club, UK (2008-2010) Committee Member of RSA, London Region, UK (2006-2010)
Visiting Professor, Sun Yat-sen University Business School, China (2005-10)
Included in UK's Who's Who since 2002 Awarded the Silver Bauhinia Star (SBS) in the July 2005 Hong Kong Honours List
At the invitation of National Geographic TV, I gave a two-hour recorded interview in Berlin on 23 May, 2016, at their temporary studio at the Robert Bosch Stiftung Building in Berlin, on water conflicts between China and her neighbors, particularly India, which shares the waters from the Tibetan Plateau. It is understood that my interview is to be used, together with other interviews and filming on location, for a four-part National Geographic TV documentary on global water scarcity and related conflicts, to be released worldwide in spring, 2017.
The film, named "Parched - Global Water Wars" was aired on 4 April, 2017 across the United States, with over 86 million paid household subscribers. The film deals mostly with the use of water as a coercive weapon in conflict zones in the Middle East involving ISIS and Israel, including impact on people's displacement. I appeared only briefly towards the last eighth of the film, on the Tibetan Plateau(scroll down to time counter 40:50 to start the relevant section).
Mark Leonard, director of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), sends me his two insightful articles in Project Syndicate on the world order. The first, Trump the Ideologue, argues that the new US President, like Margaret Thatcher, propounds a new ideology heralding a new epoch, even if neither can be regarded as an ideologue.
The second, What Liberal World Order?, postulates that both "Liberal Order 1.0", which ends at borders of nation states and "Liberal Order 2.0" which permeates inside nation states to defend individual rights and redefine sovereignty are now under threat. He singles out Germany and Turkey as key actors in defending, shaping or extracting benefits from the existing Liberal Order at least as it applies to Europe or Eurasia while a Brexit United Kingdom is playing with double standards.
I sent him the following comments -
(a) Both Trumpismand Thatcherism capitalize on a rising tide of popular discontent. Rather than inventing something new, both merely gave vent to the changing spirit of the times.
(b) On the Liberal World Order, I suggested that he hasn't done justice to the impact of a rising China. Albeit a relatively subdued rule-changer, China is more powerful economically and culturally than Russia or Turkey. Moreover, China is firmly embedded in the Liberal World Order defined in the global supply and value chain. Look at any product or appliances and you will find China in it somewhere even if the item is not marked "Made in China". China doesn't want to upend the Liberal World Order which has benefited her most. Nor does she want to lead it. But all signs point to her desire to have a bigger say in how this Order needs to be upheld, as in the case of Climate Change, and modified, as in the case of influence in global institutions like the IMF and the World Bank. Failing meaningful concessions, China has initiated parallel institutions like the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which is now supported by 70 Member Countries including key Western allies. Another ambitious China-led global project is the much-vaulted One Belt, One Road initiative, linking China across continents through infrastructure and investments in tone with an Age of Connectography. Click here
Either way, there is little doubt that the sands of the Liberal World Order as we know it are rapidly shifting. China is poised to play an increasingly influential role in helping shape the things to come.
My strategic investment talk with the Hong Kong University Graduate Association on 7 March, 2017 - entitled Implications of a Trump Presidency and Shifts in the World Order - Where to put your money in 2017