Danica May Camacho was born on October 30, 2011, to the sort of fanfare rarely seen in Manila's crowded public hospitals. That's because she represented a global milestone - her birth brought the world's population to seven billion.
It was at once a joyful occasion and a reminder of the challenges posed by ever more people competing for finite resources. In less than 30 years' time, the planet will be home to nine billion human beings, a larger proportion of which are likely to be part of the urban middle class.
This is certain to put even more pressure on the environment, testing it to breaking point. Investors are increasingly alert to these challenges. Many now recognise that, as stewards of capital, they have a crucial role to play in placing the economy on a more sustainable footing. But for them to become part of the solution, investors need to resolve a paradox.
How can they become responsible guardians of the environment and simultaneously secure an attractive return on their investments? We believe the solution to that conundrum has already begun to take shape. With governments and businesses responding to growing public pressure to reverse ecological degradation, a distinct and attractive group of environmental equity investments has emerged.
These are companies that combine strong environmental credentials with innovative products and services designed to safeguard the world's natural resources. Such firms form the core of our Global Environmental Opportunities (GEO) portfolio.