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The Way Forward to a Sustainable Future – Official Side-Event of the Federal Republic of Germany | Water Energy Food Nexus, Bonn 2011

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20 Jun 12

Side Event at Rio+20

The Way Forward to a Sustainable Future – Official Side-Event of the Federal Republic of Germany

The Side-Event aims at identifying trade-offs between the sectoral objectives and discussing how a better consideration of the interlinkages between energy, water and food security can contribute to the achievement of the energy objectives.

Central to the Green Economy is the achievement of water, energy and food security. For achieving these different objectives, it is crucial to consider the interlinkages between the sectors; disconnected approaches and silo thinking are more likely to make matters worse.

In the energy sector, the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative is an important framework for improving access and promoting renewable energies. Nevertheless, achieving sustainable energy for all will only be possible by taking into account water and land constraints in strong policy coherence.

Time & Place

20 June 2012, 5-6.30pm, Room T-9


  • Welcome
    by the moderator
    Marlehn Thieme
    Chairwoman of the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) and
    Director, Deutsche Bank AG
  • Introduction by
    Peter Altmaier
    Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
  • Introduction by
    Dirk Niebel
    Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development
  • Keynote Speech:
    Kandeh K. Yumkella
    UNIDO Director General
    Director of UN Energy
  • Panel Discussion with the above speakers as well as:
    • Ashok Koshla
      Co-President of the Club of Rome
      President of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
    • Jochen Zeitz
      Chairman of the Board of Directors, Puma SE
    • Jim Leape
      Director General of WWF
  • Conclusion
    by Marlehn Thieme

Related Resources


The Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus Solutions for the Green Economy – Messages from the Bonn2011 Conference

There are numerous ways in which the water, energy, and food sectors are interconnected. Thus “actions in one sector” may either help or harm the other two. Disconnected approaches and silo thinking are more likely to make matters worse. The Nexus perspective helps to increase the understanding of the interdependencies across the water, energy, food and other sectors and policies such as climate and biodiversity. It opens the eyes for mutually beneficial responses and the potential of cooperation.

Related Events

20–22 Jun 12

Conference Rio+20

Rio de Janeiro

21 Jun 12

Side Event at Rio+20

A central aspect of the Green Economy is water, energy and food security in particular for the bottom billion. In order to achieve this, it is of vital importance to consider the interlinkages and the interactions between the sectors. Incoherent approaches and “silo-thinking” will most likely worsen the situation further.

Further Reading

20 Nov 13

Proposals for side events, such as meetings, workshops, networking sessions, training courses or open forums, are now accepted online. The duration of each session will be 1 1/2 hours.

23 Dec 14

The forthcoming “Nexus Conference on Water, Food, Climate and Energy”, taking place in Chapel Hill/USA on 15-17 March 2015 is now accepting side event requests. The conference organisers have also drafted a list of planned outcomes, i.e. a Nexus Declaration Input to the SDG Process, a Draft of Nexus Principles for Companies, and Draft for Nexus Guidance for Governments.

12 May 12

Needs for affordable and clean energy, for water in adequate quantity and quality, and for food security will increasingly be the central challenges for humanity:these needs are strongly linked.

NEXUS in the Media

18 Jun 12

People’s Daily Online

Management of water resources needs “substantial improvement and actual reform in many countries,” and an integrated management is significant for “the most valuable natural resources,” Olcay Unver from the UNESCO’s water assessment program told Xinhua. “There has been some improvement over the the past decade or so, but we would very much like to see this expedited mostly by national government,” the director of UENSCO Program Office for Global Water Assessment said in a recent interview.

17 Nov 11

Deutsche Welle

The world’s seventh billion person was born recently and population is set to continue growing. A conference in Bonn addresses how a sustainable economy could help the growing world will cope with limited resources.

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.

08 Aug 13

Laboratory Equipment

The U.S. should establish a National Sustainability Policy and take additional steps to encourage federal agencies to collaborate on sustainability challenges that demand the expertise of many agencies, such as improving disaster resilience and managing ecosystems, says a new report from the National Research Council. Among those areas given special focus is the connections among energy, food and water: Producing and using energy often consumes water and can also impact water quality, air quality, land use and the agricultural sector. For example, intensive production of corn for ethanol requires water for irrigation, and chemical fertilizers that are heavily applied to corn run off into rivers and become a major source of pollution.

19 Nov 13

Gulf Times

The world will need more energy, water and food by 2030 and ways must be devised to meet these without affecting the environment, Rob Sherwin, a senior Shell executive has said


  • 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