The HSBC and WWF have renewed and expanded their partnership by launching a
new five-year project that promises to bring both environmental and economic
benefits to China, representatives from the bank and the global conservation
Under the HSBC's $100 million global program to address climate change - in
which the bank also partners with The Climate Group, Earthwatch Institute and
the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) - HSBC and the WWF will build
upon the successful "Investing in Nature" scheme, which has already helped
breathe new life into the Yangtze River.
"The Yangtze program showed that cooperation between the WWF and HSBC can
bring real benefits to China's environment while at the same time helping to
expand the prosperity of rural areas," said Richard Yorke, president and chief
executive officer of HSBC China, who was in Beijing yesterday for the WWF annual
meeting and symposium.
"I am confident that the new program will bring even further positive
The new program will seek to demonstrate the economic and social benefits of
harvesting the wetlands to help increase the incomes of thousands of farmers in
the Yangtze Delta area.
The earlier HSBC-WWF joint effort - a 2002-06 project that reconnected three
typical isolated lakes in Hubei Province with the Yangtze River - has already
shown that scientific and environmentally friendly projects can bring real
benefits to the countryside.
Under that project, fishermen at Lake Zhangdu were provided with information
on how to reduce pollution through eco-friendly fertilizer and were taught how
to plant edible bamboo to augment their income. As a result, in just two years
fish production increased by 17 percent, fishery income doubled and farming
Globally, HSBC's "Investing in Nature" program is estimated to have benefited
some 50 million people, saved more than 12,000 plant species from extinction,
and trained 200 scientists.
Speaking from the launch of the new partnership in London, WWF International
Director General James Leape said the new partnership - which is double HSBC's
investment in the "Investing in Nature" program - could bring benefits to
hundreds of millions of additional people worldwide.
"The HSBC Climate Partnership will help WWF work towards better management of
global water supplies, improve water security for about 450 million people, and
reduce the impact of climate change on some of the world's most important
rivers, including the Amazon, Ganges, Thames and Yangtze," Leape said.
As well as the environmental work in rural areas along the Yangtze, HSBC's
climate change partnership will benefit urban residents in some of China's major
cities. The partnership will seek to improve water quality in Shanghai and other
cities along the Yangtze.
Beyond the Climate Partnership, HSBC China recently began to sponsor research
by Shanghai's Tongji University on carbon dioxide emission reduction in the
Yangtze River Delta region. HSBC said that addressing climate change may be the
most important challenge of this century.
(China Daily 06/05/2007 page4)