Outcomes of the 4th Executive Committee Meeting: Nexus Regional Dialogues Phase II
At 8:30 am the day had only just begun in Santiago de Chile, while for others in Almaty, Kazakhstan the sun was already about to set. More than sixty participants from different regions and time-zones joined the virtual 4th Executive Committee Meeting of the Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme (NRD) from December 3-4th 2020. With this event, the second phase of the NRD programme kicked-off: implementing partners agreed on collective goals and stronger collaboration to take the WEF Nexus to the next level in the upcoming three years.
Building on the results of Phase I, the WEF NEXUS Dialogues Programme Phase II has been designed to support the institutionalisation of the WEF NEXUS approach in national and regional governance structures and investment decisions, and to leverage the interest, awareness and engagement of public and private investors for WEF NEXUS projects.
During the first day, representatives from EU DG DEVCO, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Institute for Development Cooperation (GIZ) as well as all five regional partners highlighted the successes of Phase I, including a strong regional Nexus ownership, a growing global Nexus community and the integration of the Nexus approach in political strategies and project planning. For example, the WEF Nexus approach was successfully integrated into the regional programmes “Aral Sea Basin Programme-4” and the “Regional Environmental Action Plan for Central Asia” as well as into the Niger Basin Authority´s Operational Plan and investment portfolio, so that 350 adopted projects will include a Nexus perspective in the 2016-2024 period. The Regional WEF Nexus Governance Framework was also approved in the SADC region.
While Covid-19 presented all partners and stakeholders with unprecedented challenges, the discussions also revealed that this situation created new opportunities, including the chance to integrate the Nexus approach within the “Building Back Better” discourse (One Health approach and Green Recovery) and speed up digitalisation processes. The current COVID-19 pandemic has also increasingly underscored the importance of the NRD as a multiplier of international partnerships and cross-sectoral cooperation between and within regions, countries, governments and stakeholders.
“Recovery must bring recovery for all; the Water-Energy-Food Nexus approach will serve as one of the solutions!” - Chantal Marijnissen , Head of Unit, Einvironment, Natural Resources, Water, EU DG DEVCO)
For a successful implementation of Phase II, different priorities and strategic approaches were highlighted:
- The EU Green Deal serves as an important strategy with a common narrative, with the overarching goal of making Europe climate neutral by 2050. This is complemented by identifying silos and “silo thinking” in our respective organisations and replacing them at an operational level;
- fostering the WEF Nexus program as an enabler to better show interlinkages in different sectors through nature-based solutions and the “One Health” approach
- showcasing the added value of the WEF Nexus to attract financiers and investors
- exploring and mobilising different financial opportunities for Nexus demonstration projects.
While Fela Kuti's “Water no get enemy” was playing in the background, a slide show featuring captured moments from previous Executive Steering Committee Meeting, trainings and other Nexus events over the past years was shown to the participants during the short coffee break.
“From theory to practice”: Phase II will concentrate on moving beyond policy and planning towards investment and piloting of projects in order to demonstrate the added-value of adopting the Nexus approach.
On the second day, participants engaged in a vivid exchange with the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank (FMO) and Climate Fund Managers who presented their portfolio and investment process. Overall, participants agreed on the need to increase resource mobilisation through innovative means (such as funds related to SDGs and NDCs).
After two days of fruitful discussions and active engagement, participants left the virtual conference room inspired and motivated to pursue their goals for Phase II. Future Phase II outputs, including collaborative projects and events, will be posted on the Nexus Resource Platform.
The Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme Phase I (2016-2019)
The Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme Phase I (2016-2019) resulted from a joint effort between the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). In Phase I of the project, the five Nexus Regional Dialogues (NRD) in Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA), the Niger River Basin and Southern Africa in cooperation with the Global Nexus Secretariat (GNS) developed Action Plans and policy recommendations endorsed by high-level policy makers at regional or country levels. In addition, the NRD regions supported the regional stakeholders by conducting capacity building workshops, developed in collaboration with the GNS, and organising WEF NEXUS dialogue events and forums.