Logo: Water Energy Food Nexus, Bonn 2011

A South African’s perspective on the outcomes of the South African Nexus Conference | Water Energy Food Nexus, Bonn 2011

Skip navigation
 

NEXUS SEARCH

Search

End of navigation

South Africa

04 May 12

A South African’s perspective on the outcomes of the South African Nexus Conference

The South African Water, Energy and Food forum could not have come at a more opportune time. COP17 has come and gone and with the new year in full swing, many remain doubtful about whether or not all the hype has left us with a successful outcome to the complicated international climate change negotiations process; and about what the outcomes to this process mean for business. — by Aimée Girdwood

At the same time, it is clear that that the nexus is having a real effect on our economy as we struggle with a lack of energy, inefficient transportation, escalating food prices, ailing sanitation infrastructure and a lack of access to good quality water for many in our society.

These are my key take-aways from the conference:

1. The meaning and import of the nexus

For me, a somewhat novel topic of discussion in South Africa – it was refreshing to see the different sectors of business and government so well represented at a single forum to discuss their recognition of the interconnectedness of things, and the integrated nature of solutions that we require to take account of the nexus.

2. Policy and regulation is, and will continue to be, a major driver in dealing with the nexus and therefore the shift to a sustainable economy

Aimée Girdwood

is an energy and sustainability advisory and legal specialist based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
www.girdwood.co.za

For so long the emphasis has principally been on our need to develop viable, proven and affordable low carbon, clean and sustainable technologies and solutions. While the continuous innovation and development of such solutions remains a vital agenda item, the core challenge in dealing with the nexus and the ambitious scaling up and implementation of solutions is the creation of an enabling environment. Integrated and coordinated policies and regulations are key – as a tool for an integrated management approach, as a signpost that provides clear and unambiguous signals as to the direction we are taking as a society, and as a catalyst to encourage better price signalling for investment.

The challenges in attaining an integrated, coordinated and singular policy and regulatory approach are enormous. Particularly in an environment where many believe our different governmental departments operate in silo’s, the private sector complains of the burden of our regulatory environment and resultant costs of doing business in South Africa, and the implementation of much of our legislation remains a challenge.

3. The importance of educational disclosure

An integrated and adaptive approach to policy making, planning and management of the water, energy and food sectors requires us to determine our priorities and values, and then make decisions based on trade-off’s of these priorities. Education and awareness about the nexus and a collective understanding of our values and priorities is therefore vital.

Regional

Related Resources

Presentation

Food, Energy and Water – The Meganexus: South Africa at the Stress Epicenter

by Margaret Catley-Carlson, held at the South African Water, Energy and Food Forum: “Managing the Mega-Nexus”, 18-19 April 2012

Related News

NEXUS Interview

An interview with Margaret Catley-Carlson, Vice Chair, Canadian Water Network and Member of the Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB)

Related Events

18–19 Apr 12

Conference

The South African Water, Energy & Food Forum 2012 is a two-day Forum aimed at exploring the Mega-Nexus between water, energy and food security. The Forum is sponsored by Anglo American, Eskom, Exxaro Resources and Nedbank with additional support from the US Embassy and Independent Newspapers.

Further Reading

25 Apr 12

An interview with Margaret Catley-Carlson, Vice Chair, Canadian Water Network and Member of the Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB)

07 Nov 11

Workshop Report of the UNCSD African Regional Preparatory Meeting for Rio+20 now available

28 Nov 13

Closer regional cooperation of water, energy and environmental sectors on the sustainable use of waters; involvement of private sector in water infrastructure development; and introduction of a regional legal and coordination instrument to ensure achievement of these goals, are key issues South East Europe (SEE) needs to address in water resources management and hydropower production until 2020.

NEXUS in the Media

29 Sep 14

The Third Pole

South Asia is struggling to provide enough water and energy for its growing population

08 Dec 14

Bernama

Australia’s Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb will visit three South American countries from Dec 6 to 13 to promote bilateral trade and investment.

13 Dec 13

The Nation (Pakistan)

A conference in Islamabad, Pakistan, focussed on a number of development related topics in the South Asia region. Among them was connected infrastructure between Pakistan and India to address the water-energy-food-security nexus

17 Oct 14

Glacier Hub

Few regions on Earth depend as heavily on glaciers for food, energy and water as South Asia’s Hindu Kush Himalayan ecosystem.

26 Mar 12

WWF

“Water quality and availability underpins both food and energy production, leading us to what is fast becoming recognised as the defining challenge of our generation – the water, energy, food nexus.”

Partners

  • 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
Server monitoring