By Dean Bruce, HSBC Water Programme Award Winner, Canada
Back home in Vancouver, I too often focus on the problem and how to solve it. My experience in China so far has taught me to focus on the progress instead. It would be easy to highlight my frustration with it being simpler to obtain WiFi and tobacco than to get drinkable water from a tap, or that buildings seem to be developed at the same rate at which they are deteriorating; however, that wouldn't be representative of the inspiring work I've witnessed in the past few days.
Mr Wang, fisherman and leader of the village, living on Lake Hong © Xiaodong Sun
The organizations with which HSBC has partnered, and more importantly the people representing these initiatives, have been nothing less than spectacular. There is no shortage of amazing stories and achievements, all of which seem to contrast to the bigger picture of progress. Training local villagers as champions to lead their communities in the transition to sustainability, influencing Government with forward thinking policies, restoring natural waterways to their former glory, educating future generations of leaders and providing a voice for endangered and neglected species. It seems each person I meet has another success to share, and a plan to further progress the results. The impact these individuals and organizations are making are, in part, a direct result of the strategic partnerships with HSBC and our own staff who have passionately commited to making a difference.
The importance is evident, now all that's required is for all of us to take a greater level of ownership and help continue to progress this necessary change.