Inclusive water, energy, and food security on the path to a climate resilient and resource efficient future for all – from 2016 to 2023 the Nexus Regional Dialogues (NRD) Programme carried out an ambitious programme in five different regions worldwide to promote the integrated management of natural resources.
On the 18th and 19th of June 2023, over 60 professionals from the five regions covered by the programme, gathered at the GIZ Campus in Bonn, Germany. The event brought together policymakers, business developers, researchers, project leaders, and others from the water, energy, agricultural and environmental sectors who engaged in enriching discussions and activities throughout the two-day event.
The first day of the event focused on the main achievements of the Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme, from a governance as well as a financial perspective. From Nexus Guidelines for the Niger Basin Authority; a Massive Open Online Course that is spreading Nexus awareness in Latin America; the elaboration of financially sound Nexus infrastructure project proposals in Central Asia, anchoring the integrated approach in relevant national plans across Southern Africa; and finally the development a specific Nexus farming loan product in the Middle East and North Africa – the panel discussions very as diverse as they were engaging and lively and they collectively demonstrated how and why it is necessary to promote cooperation between different sectors and levels.
The second day of the event started with elevator pitches highlighting the extensive portfolio of products/methods that were developed to ensure an effective WEF Nexus institutionalisation, impact assessments, knowledge building and outreach work as well as business acceleration. These products include the Nexus Impact Assessment (NIA) Toolkit, the Nexus Resources Platform, the Massive Open Online Course, the Nexus Training, different Nexus Governance Guidelines and Frameworks as well as conducting WEF Nexus business acceleration and innovation labs. A subsequent World Café allowed participants to share insights and implementation experiences on these products/methods in more detail.
“This project was ahead of its time, with a progressive vision. To gather its results, now is the right time to put its experiences into practice” – Rike Sohn, Senior Policy Advisor for International Water Governance, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The event closed with the identification of key actions necessary to continue the WEF Nexus legacy and to break silo approaches and implement integrated solutions. The main challenges include climate change and volatility in food prices and availability, intensified by the war on Ukraine. The solutions encompass the application of a holistic approach, ensuring equitable access, and shifting to integrated management of resources. The road towards these solutions, have been successfully demonstrated throughout the NRD Programme: Policy and financing dialogues that promote cooperation between sectors and levels, impact assessments and cost-benefit analysis that provide reliable numbers of Nexus advantages, demonstration projects that practically showcase the Nexus benefits, human capacity building that raise awareness about the urgency for integrated approaches, outreach and knowledge management to ensure a broad and inclusive access to the most recent Nexus resources. This means that, to achieve the goal of ensuring WEF Security for all, the Nexus approach needs to continue present in all spheres of society, from private to public sectors, and from local to global level.
Water, energy, and food are the most fundamental needs of people. The NRD Programme has proven that it is possible to make use of these resources in a sustainable and effective way, ensuring their availability for the present and the future generations. It now depends on these people, the “Nexus Ambassadors”, to continue adopting the approach and proposing solutions to achieve universal access to food, drinking water and renewable energy as called for in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs). Henceforth, in the words of Dieter Rothenberger, Leader of the Sector Programme Water Policy - Innovations of Resilience at GIZ, “it is a closing event, but it is not the end of the journey”.
“It is important to acknowledge that we have a role to play in the paradigm shift towards mainstreaming the WEF Nexus approach. The NRD programme operated in five different regions in the world since 2016, actively pushing for integrated natural resources management to be anchored in regional, national and local policymaking and project designs. Our task now is to make sure that our legacy continues” - Irene Sander, Head of Component, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
- Nexus Regional Dialogue Central Asia // Central Asia at the International Forum in Bonn: Nexus Approach, achievements and prospects
- Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme Phase II
- Nexus Dialogue in the Niger Basin // Fund-raising: promising start-ups go head-to-head with impact investors
- Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme // Nexus Newsletter, Issue N° 17, June 2023