First launched in November 2016, the Global Framework on Water Scarcity (WASAG) has grown into a partnership platform of exchange on solutions to adapt to climate change in agriculture. It has since then held two international forums, the first one marked by the adoption of the Praia Commitment in March 2019. The 2nd WASAG International forum took place in Praia, Cabo Verde from the 7th to 10th February 2023.
The 2nd WASAG International Forum
The forum aimed to promote and position agriculture at the core of climate change discussions in view of forthcoming events such as the UN Water Conference and the UNFCCC COP28. In this regard, the objective was to mobilise political commitment to accelerate strategic actions, including policies and investments for addressing water scarcity in agriculture. In addition, the forum was organised to discuss ways to make the partnership more effective and impactful for the implementation of the new WASAG Strategy 2021-2024 and involve all Partners, share relevant knowledge on key issues as well as showcase latest technologies and practices through a fair.
Technical sessions and side events lined up the agenda of the forum. They focused on key areas namely water and nutrition, water quality, drought preparedness, inclusive farmer-led water management and sustainable agricultural water use, among others.
The Nexus Regional Dialogues (NRD) Programme at the forum
The NRD programme team had the opportunity to present their perspective to finding solutions for sustainable agricultural water use. Considering the interdependencies and interactions between the water, energy and food sectors, there is a need for an approach that encourages synergies between them and limits negative trade-offs, hence the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) security Nexus approach. It involves structures at regional, national, and local levels. Hannah Mosleh, Advisor in the Water Policy Innovations for Resilience (WaPo-RE) sector programme at GIZ, highlighted ways in which this approach was institutionalised in regional governance structures and investment decisions. As an example, she presented the work of the NRD Programme in the Niger Basin. The programme has led to the development and adoption of Nexus guidelines in December 2022. Throughout the programme phase, there has been a series of workshops in the Niger basin conducted between scientific experts and the council of ministers from the Niger Basin Authority (NBA) Member States to discuss and adopt the Nexus guidelines. These guidelines are intended to help in the design, management and evaluation of programmes and projects in the Niger Basin, to ensure sustainable decisions which have little to no negative effects on other sectors. This experience confirmed and emphasised the importance of multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral dialogues and capacity-building for evidence-based decision-making.
Upscaling Nexus-based Farming
For the second part of the presentation, Jakob Seidler, Advisor in the WaPo-RE sector programme at GIZ, presented ways to upscale Nexus-based farming to the local level. It showcased a Nexus farm initiative project between two communities in Egypt, implemented by Gebal Egypt. The project used the approach and employed capacity development, policy and financing dialogues to develop and test community-based models of sustainable food production that can be replicated by local farmers. During the implementation of the project, lessons learned included the importance of developing policies based on real, functional models and the need for higher end markets for farmers.
Other technical sessions explored various relevant topics notably the WEF nexus perspective of sustainable agricultural management, presented by a speaker from the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and innovations on methods and applications in the field of water productivity by a speaker from the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska. The forum was marked by the endorsement of the Praia Call for Action by the participants as a second step towards decisive and concrete actions to be taken, after the adoption of the Praia Commitment during the 1st WASAG International Forum. The various exchanges also set the pace for further agriculture-centred climate change discussions during upcoming international events, and for actions to accelerate the delivery of the Framework.
Please find the presentation slides here.
- Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme MENA // Securing municipalities’ climate finance within the WEF-Nexus framework, a MINARET II Regional Meeting.
- Niger Basin Nexus Acceleration Programme // Article Series No. 6: Acceleration of the winning startups of the WEF Nexus bootcamp: SAVIP
- Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme MENA // Demonstration Projects in Egypt: Water-Energy-Food Nexus Farming Design Thinking Workshop Dandara, Egypt
- Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme MENA // Demonstration Projects in Egypt: Water-Energy-Food-Nexus Farming Design Thinking Workshop El Heiz, Egypt