As part of the Multistakeholder Engagement Process for the Bonn2011 Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus Conference, Stakeholder Forum conducted a global survey to collect the perspectives of a wide range of stakeholders. More than 400 responses were sent.
As part of the Multistakeholder Engagement Process for the Bonn2011 Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus Conference, Stakeholder Forum conducted a global survey to collect the perspectives of a wide range of stakeholders. The questions centred upon the usefulness of a Nexus approach to secure access to water, energy and food security for the population; the challenges to successfully implementing this approach; and the role of governments, the private sector, civil society and other relevant stakeholders in ensuring equitable access to the three securities in an environmentally sustainable way.
We received a total of 402 responses. The majority of respondents to the survey indicated that they had already begun to consider the interlinkages between water, energy and food security in their work, and described a number of ways in which a Nexus approach would be helpful. Most commonly, respondents stressed that a Nexus approach would help to ensure more efficient resource use, avoid the displacement of problems from one component of the Nexus to another, and allow for equitable and universal access to each of the three securities.
Respondents were asked to describe the key social, environmental, economic and political challenges to the successful implementation of a Nexus approach. Socially, a lack of education and awareness around sustainability issues was identified as the principal obstacle to progress, alongside poverty/income inequality and a lack of participation/inclusion. The threat of climate change was highlighted as the central environmental issue a Nexus approach would have to take into account. A range of other problems, including water scarcity and deforestation, were identified, and the point was repeatedly made that only an integrated, holistic policy response will be able to lessen the environmental impacts on access to water, energy and food, especially in the context of rapid population growth.
Financing sustainability interventions was identified as the central economic barrier to the successful implementation of a Nexus approach; the fact that investors all too frequently look to short-term, unsustainable initiatives was repeatedly highlighted. Poverty and the need to embrace full-cost accounting whilst abandoning GDP as a measure of progress were also pinpointed as significant economic hurdles. Politically, a lack of leadership and political will was identified as the central difficulty, alongside corruption and the prevalence of short-term political decision making.
Respondents most commonly described increasing equitable access to water, food and energy as the key demand they would make to governments. Greater funding and meaningful stakeholder involvement were also common demands. Respondents repeatedly called for the private sector to adhere more closely to principles of social and environmental corporate responsibility, to enter into partnerships with government and civil society, and to invest in science and technology. Civil society organisations were called upon to strengthen their advocacy and awareness raising efforts, partner with governments, and press for greater accountability at all levels.
Report of the Global Online Survey