This week, 11 representatives of the municipalities of Manouba and Raoeud in Tunisia participated in the capacity building event of the Water-Energy-Food Nexus Training to strengthen their knowledge regarding the adoption of the WEF Nexus approach.
The training, being part of the MINARET II project activities, aimed to show how cross-sectoral coordination and integrated solutions can be used to overcome sustainability challenges faced by municipalities in Tunisia.
A few WEF Nexus challenges in Tunisia
- Tunisia has a high energy balance deficit and electricity production is highly dependent on imported natural gas. The country seeks to achieve a renewable energy target of 30% of the electricity generation mix by 2030, with the diversification of the energy mix aiming to improve energy security.
- Energy demands are high for irrigation, water transfers, pumping from deep aquifers, desalination processes and wastewater treatment.
- Although the implementation of solar pumping irrigation systems encourages renewable energy use, there is a risk of increased groundwater overexploitation.
- Unsustainable rate of groundwater extraction in many aquifers. This problem is exacerbated by an inconsistent institutional framework to ensure the sustainability of groundwater use and unauthorised drilling for aquifer exploitation.
- Uncontrolled land use practices are contaminating aquifers in the country and inefficient agricultural techniques contribute to the overexploitation of water resources.
- Agricultural production is very vulnerable to drought, especially in the northern regions, where 97% of the cereal crops are rainfed.
WEF Nexus Training
The two-day training aimed to enable the project municipalities to apply the Water-Food-Energy Nexus approach as an important framework for promoting a coherent, holistic and integrated implementation of the related Sustainable Development Goals, and secure access to the three critical resources in the long run.
The training provided a detailed look into the following topics:
- Understanding the synergies and trade-offs between competing uses of water, land and energy related resources.
- Embracing a cross-sectoral, coherent and integrated perspective.
- Promoting the integration of goals across sectors and reducing the risk of sector-specific SDG actions undermining each other.
Over various sessions, the participants dealt with the concept of the WEF Nexus approach and its reflections in the Mediterranean region, and created a common understanding of challenges and potential opportunities in applying technical Nexus solutions at their municipal level.
The newly gained knowledge can now support the participants in the development of projects and decision-making processes to pursue a sustainable management of water and other resources.
About MINARET II
MINARET II is the second phase of “The MENA Region Initiative as a Model of NEXUS Approach and Renewable Energy Technologies” which supports municipalities to improve their service delivery in relation to natural resources management (related to water, energy and food security).
The project aims at improving people’s lives by helping municipal governments to secure funds and develop the skills they need to deliver high-quality public services, in particular with regard to policies that affect the usage of water, energy and food resources.
The project is supported by the Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme which is implemented by the GIZ and co-funded by the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It is implemented at municipal level by the Royal Scientific Society – Amman and is targeting Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia.
- Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme MENA // A WEF Nexus training for Jordanian municipalities
- Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme MENA // Environment and Development Forum Technical Session: Upscaling the WEF Nexus for a Climate Resilient Future
- Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme in MENA
- Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme // New Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus Training Material