event 03 Feb 2023

Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme LAC // Public services discuss water, energy and food security through a social simulation

Representatives of the Regional Government of Bio Bio, the National Forestry Agency of Chile (CONAF), and the Planning Directorate of the Ministry of Public Works of Chile, together with academic researchers, met to experience the interactions and interconnections between water, energy, and food sectors through the Nexus game.

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Representatives of the Regional Government of Bio Bio, the National Forestry Agency of Chile (CONAF), and the Planning Directorate of the Ministry of Public Works of Chile, together with academic researchers, met at the University of Concepción on January 26th 2023, to experience the interactions and interconnections between water, energy, and food sectors.

Through the Nexus Game, 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.

Organisation of the event

The initiative was organised and carried out by the Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme - jointly funded by the European Union and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development - in coordination with the "Governance in agroforestry basins" programme of the Regional Government of Bio Bio and the Forestry Institute, as well as the Anillo project "Co-design laboratories for climate change, governance and care of commons in coastal areas in south-central Chile", executed by University of Concepción, the Catholic University of Maule, and the University of Los Lagos.

Antonio Levy, regional coordinator of the Nexus Regional Dialogue in Latin America and the Caribbean , indicated that the objective of this programme is "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.

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The Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme promotes dialogue and research with a view to sustainable development together with local organisations, water resources management and territorial planning.

For Noelia Carrasco, PhD in Anthropology and Professor from University of Concepción, the activity was highly stimulating. "It allows us to see how international cooperation and the international system of the United Nations are encouraging the use of tools that promote greater integration in decision-making". She concludes that cooperation between institutions "implies contributing to the design of public policies and local governance, so our projects are in full harmony with other parts of the world, strengthening inter-institutional alliances at the global level."

The dimensions addressed during this meeting are often highly disconnected. To give an example, agriculture causes 70% of deforestation and consumes 72% of water withdrawals worldwide, which has serious consequences as a result of the generalisation of the water crisis and climate change. Coordinated actions in these sectors for well-being could then balance competing demands on resources while protecting vulnerable ecosystems.

Playing the Nexus game

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