From 16 to 18 November 2011 the German Federal Government organized the international Conference "The Water Energy and Food Security Nexus — Solutions for the Green Economy" as a specific German contribution to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development "Rio2012".
Global Trends such as population growth and rising economic prosperity are expected to increase demand for energy, food and water which will compromise the sustainable use of natural resources. Besides positive effects, this pressure on resources could finally result in shortages which may put water, energy and food security for the people at risk, hamper economic development, lead to social and geopolitical tensions and cause lasting irreparable environmental damage.
The German Government has recognized a clear need for new approaches which address the interconnections within the water, energy and food security nexus. In order to develop these integrated solutions, the German Government initiated a yearlong participatory process including an international multi-stakeholder-dialogue which prepared the Bonn2011 Nexus Conference.
By hosting the conference, organized under the auspices of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the German Government pursued three objectives:
- To develop policy recommendations based on multi-stakeholder consultations and taking a Nexus perspective,
- to position the water, energy and food security nexus perspective as an important dimension within the 'Rio2012' process as well as the Green Economy and Green Growth concepts, and
- to launch concrete initiatives to address the water, energy, food security nexus in a coherent and sustainable way.
The Bonn2011 Nexus Conference focussed on the three action fields of sustainable development:
- The social dimension: Accelerating Access, integrating the bottom of the pyramid
- The economic dimension: Creating more with less
- The ecologic dimension: Investing to sustain ecosystem services
The conference put a Nexus lens on the three action fields in order to focus on better understanding the interdependencies between the three securities. Further, the discussions focussed on identifying enabling conditions which facilitate the transition to a greener economy.
The international participants at the three-day conference included more than 500 high-ranking decision-makers and decision-shapers from the spheres of politics, academia, the United Nations, civil society and the private sector. The overall concept was designed to produce concrete outcomes in plenary sessions, workshops and cross-sectoral dialogue formats.