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Securing Food, Water and Energy in the World's Most Valued Ecoregions | Water Energy Food Nexus, Bonn 2011

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18 Jun 12

Side Event at Rio+20

Securing Food, Water and Energy in the World’s Most Valued Ecoregions

This event will profile some of the world’s most innovative “natural capital partnerships” implementing integrated approaches toward the transition to green growth and green economies today. It will promote a south-south knowledge exchange and commitments from Mexico, the Coastal Eastern Africa region and Asia’s Greater Mekong Subregion.

Natural ecosystems provide economically valuable services vital to human welfare such as food, water, energy, and carbon sequestration. In many of the world’s ecoregions, declines in natural capital continue, causing negative impacts that contribute to increase poverty levels. Solutions are emerging, however. Across Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America, models for inclusive green growth are evolving through a range of integrated strategies and regional cooperation initiatives. This event will provide a forum for governments on the cutting edge of green economy innovations to profile integrated and collaborative approaches that enhance freshwater, forest, agricultural, and marine resources – the vital building blocks of a sustainable future.


Potential Contribution to the outcome of UNSCD/Rio +20

Sustainable development is a holistic approach centered on integration and balanced consideration of social, economic and environmental goals and objectives at all levels of both public and private decision-making. It also emphasizes intra- and inter-generational equity. This event will highlight and explore, through a south-south dialogue, the benefits and complexities of taking a holistic, integrated and inclusive approach to addressing the intersection between economies and the environment in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.

Thematic Focus:
Integrated approaches to developing green economies in critical ecosystems

Global economic and social development depends on the continued productivity of inter-connected ecological systems. Intact, healthy and diverse natural ecosystems provide water, energy, food, and livelihoods to human populations, especially the rural poor who continue to rely on direct access to natural resources. These inter-connected ecosystems also provide resilience against the increasingly evident and powerful impacts of climate change.

The regional development banks and WWF are working with partners in nations developing ground-breaking initiatives to safeguard national, regional and globally strategic natural assets? the essential building blocks of current and future economies. These collaborative initiatives highlight the importance of developing partnerships and integrated approaches to building the green economies of tomorrow while addressing the complex challenges of today. They demonstrate the kind of leadership and commitment to action on the ground that will inspire others around the world seeking effective pathways toward sustainable development.

Format and Speakers

Opening Remarks:
Enhancing natural capital and improving human welfare? why do ecosystems matter for sustainable development?
Speaker: Yolanda Kakabadse, President, WWF International

Case 1:
State-of-the-Art Water Resource and Environmental Management in Mexico
Speaker: Ing. José Luis Luege Tamargo, Director General, CONAGUA, Mexico

Mexico’s National Water Commission (CONAGUA), the Inter-America Development Bank and WWF have established a water reserves initiative in Mexico for environmental security. It is designed to maintain ecosystem functions across the nation that will safeguard adequate reserves for future development. Establishing a water sources protection framework based on a water reserves strategy is a key action in the implementation of Mexico’s long-term sustainable and adaptive water policy vision recently launched in their “Water Agenda 2030”.

Case 2:
Regional Cooperation towards a Poverty-free and Ecologically Rich Greater Mekong Subregion
Speaker: Vice Minister Bui Cach Tuyen, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Vietnam

The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Economic Development Program was recently renewed at a regional Leaders’ Summit of the six nations of the Mekong River basin (Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam). This comprehensive and integrated strategic framework lays the foundation for a green economy across the sub-region. The Vice Minister will highlight the programme’s advances toward a green economy that build on the achievements and challenges of 20 years of regional cooperation for sustainable development in one the most ecologically rich regions in the world.

Case 3:
Securing Marine and Forest Resources across Three Coastal Nations of Eastern Africa

  • Her Excellency, Alcinda de Abreu, Minister of Coordination of Environmental Affairs, Mozambique
  • Her Excellency, Terezya P.L. Huvisa, Minister of State for Environment, Vice-President?s Office, Tanzania
  • Mr. Ali Mohamed, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources, Kenya (tbc)

Three nations of Coastal Eastern Africa; Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania, have initiated a process of integration and collaboration at the national and transboundary levels that will allow them to realize shared ambitions for green economies within the context of inclusive and sustainable economic development founded on the efficient management of their rich and productive natural capital.

Panel Discussion:
What lessons can we learn from these initiatives to promote transitions to green economies within the context of sustainable development? What are the trends and opportunities for supporting the development of green economies today?

The speakers will be joined by the esteemed panelists from partner institutions:

  • Mr. Javed Mir, Director, Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Division, Asian Development Bank
  • Mr. Walter Vergara, Unit Chief, Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Unit, Infrastructure and Environment Sector, Inter-American Development Bank
  • Dr. Abdirahman Beileh, Acting Director, Department of Agriculture and Agro-Industries, African Development Bank
  • Ministry of Environment Protection, People’s Republic of China (invited)
  • Global Environment Facility (invited)

Further Reading

23 May 12

World Bank Group identifies six key issues and key messages for Rio+20

28 Jul 15

Food and water are tied to one another fundamentally. But in addition to their biophysical relationship, human systems intervene, whether through pricing schemes and trade agreements or shifting patterns in consumption and taste.

04 Oct 15

The road to resilience - managing and financing extreme weather risks

NEXUS in the Media

28 Feb 13

The Guardian

Food, water and energy are in short supply, but attempts to secure one of these resources often negatively affects the others. At a series of debates on the problem, Tim Smedley discovers ‘nexus thinking’ could be the solution.

15 Mar 16


Innovation - in particular issues of storage, market design and climate resilience have become increasingly important drivers of change

12 Feb 14

The Hindustan Times

This analysis by RK Pachauri, Director-General of The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI), presents some of the results of the 14th Dehli Development Summit, with a special focus on the changes in agriculture in Asia caused by the climate change

18 Jun 12

Guyana Times

Agriculture’s heavy dependence on fossil fuels is undermining the sector’s ability to feed the world, perpetuating poverty and undermining efforts to build a more sustainable world economy, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said on Wednesday. The warning came as the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation released a study on “Energy-smart” food production and use ahead of the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development, where global energy challenges will feature high on the agenda. Together, the world’s food production systems – from the farms where food is grown to further along the processing and marketing chain – consume 30 per cent of all available energy, the FAO study shows.

30 Oct 13

Gulf News

Policymakers must take into consideration these links to improve sustainability, efficiency and equitability.


  • IFPRI International Food Policy Research Institute
  • WEF World Economic Forum
  • WWF World Wide Fund for Nature

Bonn2011 Nexus Conference – in the context of Bonn Perspectives

  • Bonn Perspectives

initiated by

  • BONN
  • BMZ

funded by

  • European Regional Development Fund EFRE
  • NRW Ministerin fr Bundesangelegenheiten, Europa und Medien des Landes Nordrhein-Westphalen