event 27 Apr 2023

Nexus Regional Dialogue LAC // Government entities in Chile discuss water, energy and food security through a social simulation

On April 25th, representatives of the National Water Directorate (DGA) of the Ministry of Public Works and the National Directorate for Borders and State Limits (DIFROL) of the Ministry of Foreign Relations of Chile successfully overcame the water-energy-food security challenges of the Nexus Simulation Game.


Representatives of the National Water Directorate (DGA) of the Ministry of Public Works and the National Directorate for Borders and State Limits (DIFROL) of the Ministry of Foreign Relations of Chile met on April 25th to experience the interactions and interconnections between water, energy and food security through a Nexus simulation game, and build new collaborative relationships in the process.

Experiencing the Nexus Challenges through a serious board game simulation

The Nexus simulation game is designed to demonstrate many interconnected Water-Food-Energy Nexus challenges and to provide an opportunity to practice how different water management policies can lead to the sustainable development of society in harmony with Nature. Developed by the Centre for Systems Solutions in collaboration with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, the Nexus Simulation Game brings together 8-12 players in the roles of key ministers of two countries sharing a common river. Players try to meet growing water demands with limited resources and time. In the process, they learn to appreciate the complexity of managing water, energy and food demands within each country, as well as the interconnections between countries that share borders and water flows.

Building Collaborative relationships

During the Nexus Game Workshop, participants adopted active roles in fictitious countries, having to make investment decisions, manage resources, and face different environmental situations that ultimately determine the well-being of inhabitants in each respective country. The initiative was organised and carried out by the Nexus Regional Dialogues (NRD) Programme (implemented by GIZ and co-funded by the European Union and German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Develop) in coordination with DIFROL.

Antonio Levy, regional coordinator of the Nexus Dialogue in Latin America and the Caribbean, highlighted that the NRD Programme aims to “link the water, energy and food sectors with a focus on water, energy and food security, reinforcing the idea of dialogue, collaboration and understanding of how the actions of one sector affect the rest". Thus, it is intended to improve inter-institutional work in different countries. The NRD Programme promotes dialogue and research with a view to sustainable development together with local organisations, water resources management and territorial planning.

Insights and Lessons learned

Participants reported that the experience provided them with valuable insight and a wider perspective on the challenges of sectoral planning that would be useful in addressing transboundary water basin management issues, as well as a window into the negotiating process of water management. The Nexus Simulation Game highlighted the importance of international cooperation and holistic decision making for well-planned investments, integrating diverse information in limited time, preparing for climate uncertainty, negotiations, and enhancing teamwork. The experience will help professionals from both DIFROL and DGA to address normative challenges, coordinate policies better, share information, identify common challenges, and build stronger working teams in the process.

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