This morning a WHOLE WORLD Water Google+ Hangout highlighted how governments can work with the private sector to drive positive, sustainable change. Participants included President Waheed; Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group and Virgin Unite; Sonu Shivdasani, Chairman of Soneva Resorts & Spas and co-Founder and Trustee of WHOLE WORLD Water; Dinda Elliott, Global Affairs Editor at Conde Nast Traveler; Mike Bettes, Meteorologist at the Weather Channel; Michael d’Estries, co-founder of; Jenifer Willig and Karena Albers, co-founders of WHOLE WORLD Water.

Considered a top tourism destination by many, the Maldives is among the most vulnerable of the small island states to the consequences of climate change, and faces acute development challenges such as a shortage of potable water. With 28 percent of the GDP coming from tourism, this industry has a significant role to play in helping to mitigate these challenges.

“What our world urgently needs to achieve sustained development will require significant changes in what we produce, and how we consume our resources,” said President Waheed. “It is my hope that by endorsing this initiative, all hotels and resorts in the Maldives will join WHOLE WORLD Water and that the Maldives will serve as a global example of how governments can work with the private sector to drive positive, sustainable change for all.”

“We are honored to have our campaign endorsed by President Waheed,” said Karena Albers, co-founder of WHOLE WORLD Water. “This is an extraordinary story of a small island state taking an astounding leadership position – setting a global example of how governments and the private sector can work together. It is important to note that funds raised by local resorts will be invested back into clean water initiatives here in the Maldives.”

WHOLE WORLD Water is a global campaign launching today, March 22. Launch events will take place in: the Maldives at Soneva Fushi; South Africa at Ulusaba Game Reserve, hosted by Jon Brown, CEO Virgin Limited Edtion; London at the Savoy Hotel, chaired by Jonathan Porritt and Stanley Johnston as the Master of Ceremonies; New York at TAO Asian Bistro, chaired by WHOLE WORLD Water advisor Graham Hill; and at Parallel 37 at the Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, chaired by WHOLE WORLD Water advisor, Yvés Behar.

“Solving our world’s grand challenges requires a disruption of business-as-usual,” said Sir Richard Branson, Founder at Virgin Group and advisor to WHOLE WORLD Water. “Through the collective action from governments, the private and social sectors, we can develop long-term sustainable business solutions, like WHOLE WORLD Water, to promote sustainable social solutions.”

Tune into the WHOLE WORLD Water Google+ Hangout, by visiting For more information about WHOLE WORLD Water, please visit,



About the issue:

The United Nations has proclaimed 2013 the Year of International Water Cooperation to raise awareness of the fact that nearly one billion people do not have access to safe and clean drinking water today and 2.4 billion live without basic sanitation. Working together with the hospitality and tourism industry, WHOLE WORLD Water can help solve this issue within our lifetime.


About WHOLE WORLD Water:

Developed to end the global water and sanitation crisis, WHOLE WORLD Water works to engage the hospitality and tourism industry to filter, bottle, and sell its own water, and contribute 10% of the proceeds to the WHOLE WORLD Water Fund.  Founded in 2012 by award winning documentary filmmaker Karena Albers, and Jenifer Willig, former CEO of the (RED) campaign, the core belief of WHOLE WORLD Water is that if it is not good for business, it is simply not sustainable. For more information, please visit, and join the conversation on Twitter @WHOLEWORLDWater.


About The WHOLE WORLD Water Fund:
The WHOLE WORLD Water Fund was established to radically increase resources to provide access to clean and safe water to communities around the world.  Designed specifically for clean and safe water investments, the Fund can be accessed by organizations, charities and social enterprises focused on clean and safe drinking water issues. By investing in projects with the potential to bring a return through carbon revenues and results based financing, the Fund enables revenues to be recycled back into the fund and deployed again. ClimateCare, pioneers in climate and development projects, and results based financing, are managing the WHOLE WORLD Water Fund.  Trustees of the Fund include Sonu Shivdasani, Sir Jonathon Porritt and Edward Hanrahan. Board Advisors include: Sir Richard Branson, David de Rothschild, Yves Behar, Graham Hill, Ben Elliot and Shekhar Kapur.


WHOLE WORLD Water Members:

To date, current members include: Soneva, Six Senses Resorts & Spas, Virgin Limited Edition, Virgin Hotels, Banyan Tree, Auberge du Soleil, TAO restaurant Group, The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte, The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe, The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco, Oberoi Hotels and Resorts, Dusit Hotels and Resorts, JetWing Hotels, The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu, Yoo Hotels, and Tsogo Sun.