Bonn Launches Nexus Perspective
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Bonn2011 // Bonn Launches Nexus Perspective

Growing demand for water, energy and food demands resource-efficient economics

At the invitation of the German government, discussions got underway in Bonn today among high-level decision-makers and international experts seeking solutions to key global challenges. The three-day conference on the theme of "The Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus — Solutions for the Green Economy" was opened yesterday by German Development Minister Dirk Niebel and Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen.

Co-chairs Albert Butare and Uschi Eid stated that the conference will make a significant contribution to a nexus approach that can no longer be avoided or postponed.

Norbert Röttgen, Federal Minister of co-organizer BMU, reminded the audience that current practices are causing the planet to run at a fiscal and environmental debt; recovery does not mean zero growth but a different growth that will shift the economy towards a resource-saving system. The new, green economy will use fewer resources and produce fewer emissions. Röttgen called on Europe to lead the way and show developing countries that a low-resource economy can be economically viable by producing good economic results.

Dirk Niebel, Federal Minister of the other co-organizer, BMZ, announced that the Bonn2011 conference marks the first time experts in the water, energy and food sectors have come together in dialogue to discuss concerns and develop solutions. The timing is critical because increasing prosperity means increasing drains on resources. There are enough resources to support everyone, but only if current practices are changed.

HRH the Prince of Orange, Chair of the United Nations Secretary General's Advisory Board on Sanitation (UNSGAB) challenged attendees to consider what kind of world we are leaving to future generations if we do not commit to a sustainable path. The UNSGAB board is thus sending three messages to the world. First, we must ensure universal access to water and sanitation, and in this regard the world is "intolerably off track."

Second, there is an urgent need for wastewater management to address water security. Third, more food must be produced from less water. The global demonstrations have shown how insecure youth around the world feel, and we have an obligation to address their concerns.

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