Zongo dam Bolivia mountains ID 382028446 Matyas Rehak

Nexus Regional Dialogue in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

Resource-rich and highly heterogenous

Project Details

  • EN V Co funded by POS
  • BMZ
  • Logo CEPAL 730x730
  • Logo GIZ 730x730
  • Implementing organisation:

    Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ)

  • Collaborating partners:

    National project implementation partners in the region

  • Implementation period:

    July 2020 – June 2023

  • Beneficiary countries:

    Peru, Ecuador

  • Funding by:

    German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), European Union (EU)

Key Publications

Factsheet LAC



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Factsheet Nexus Regional Dialogue in Latin America and the Caribbean

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Publicación // Guía metodológica: diseño de acciones con enfoque del Nexo entre agua, energía y alimentación para países de América Latina y el Caribe


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By Lisbeth Naranjo and Bárbara A. Willaarts. Esta Guía Metodológica presenta la aplicación práctica del enfoque del “Nexo entre Agua, Energía y Alimentación”.

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Nexus Publicación // Manual de Capacitación Equipo Móvil de Bombeo Solar


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Desarrollar y fortalecer capacidades de asesoramiento técnico y formulación de proyectos de agua, energía solar y producción de alimentos, en personal técnico del sector público y privado, así como en familias campesinas mediante su formación práctica utilizando un Equipo Móvil de Bombeo Solar demostrativo.

Peru publication

Programa Diálogos Regionales del Nexo // Alineamiento de las Políticas Hídricas con las Nacionales y de Desarrollo a través de la Perspectiva Nexo en el Perú


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Perú, desde perspectiva Nexo, pretende contribuir con lograr una visión integradora entre el agua, la energía y la agricultura con fines alimentarios, cuya orientación facilite el trabajo a los tres niveles de gobierno (nacional, regional y local) en la gestión de estos importantes recursos para beneficio de la población.

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Agua, Producción de Alimentos y Energía // La Experiencia del Nexo en Chile


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Por Humberto Peña. El presente estudio analiza este Nexo en el caso de Chile.

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Latin America // El Nexo entre el agua, la energía y la alimentación en América Latina y el Caribe: planificación, marco normativo e identificación de interconexiones prioritarias


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Por Antonio Embid y Liber Martín/Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe. Este documento analiza el Nexo entre agua, energía y alimentación en América Latina y el Caribe centrando su atención en el estado actual de la cuestión, la planificación para su implementación, la articulación del marco normativo y la identificación de interconexiones prioritarias para la región.

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Lineamientos de Políticas Públicas // Un Mejor Manejo de las Interrelaciones del Nexo entre el Agua, la Energía y la Alimentación


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Por Antonio Embid y Liber Martín. Este estudio tiene como principal objeto la formulación de lineamientos de política pública para mejorar el manejo de las interrelaciones del Nexo entre el agua, la energía y la alimentación en América Latina y el Caribe.

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Conclusions Report // Investment in circular water treatment and renewable energy systems for Latin America and the Caribbean with the Nexus approach

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Informe de conclusiones // Inversión en sistemas circulares de tratamiento de agua y energía renovable para América Latina y el Caribe con enfoque Nexo

News in LAC

Regional Context

A heterogeneous supply of water, energy, and food resources 

Latin America and the Caribbean is home to 33 diverse countries endowed with abundant reserves of water, agriculture, energy and minerals, but regional differences and major challenges – including increasing demands on natural resources, weak governance capacity, significant inequalities, growing urbanisation and climate change – highlight the need for intersectoral solutions. Ensuring the water, energy and food security of 646 million people and reaching the ambitious 2030 Sustainable Development Goals will require balancing competing demands on resources while also protecting vulnerable ecosystems

Since 2016, the Nexus Regional Dialogue Programme in Latin America and the Caribbean has been working across the region to institutionalise the WEF Nexus in public policy and planning. In the programme’s second phase the NRD will continue this work with demonstration projects that show the value-added of the WEF Nexus, capacity building activities, regional dialogues, related studies, and the identification of financing opportunities.

Lagoon Huancayo Peru ID 1152946646 Milton Rodriguez

The countries of Latin America and the Caribbean have a wide range of climates and geographic regions, hosting humid, tropical rainforests in the Amazon and Mesoamerica, extensive mountain ranges in the Andes and desert-like climates in Chile and Mexico. Their considerable water, energy and food resources are very unevenly distributed at both the regional level and within countries – making solutions that share resources in an efficient and equitable manner crucial.

Why are WEF Nexus Solutions Needed?

  • 72%

    The agriculture sector currently accounts for 72% of water withdrawls

  • 45%

    Around 45% of electricity production in Latin America and the Caribbean comes from hydropower

  • 32%

    The region has around 32% of global renewable water resources

  • 90%

    Almost 90% of all arable land and permanent crops in LAC is rainfed

  • 70%

    Agriculture causes 70% of deforestation, threatening the region’s water security, ecosystems and biodiversity

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Water and Agriculture

Latin America and the Caribbean have one third of the world’s total water run-off, yet its also home to the most arid desert in the world. Hence, its uneven distribution and the effects of climate change means that water shortages are a consistent and growing challenge. This will impact the agriculture sector, which currently accounts for 72% of water withdrawals and is a key source of economic livelihoods and development. With 80% of the region’s population living in urban centres, a number expected to grow exponentially, the Urban Nexus’ focus on food transport, wastewater management and sanitation is also an increasing priority for the region.

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  • NRD icon wave shaped

Water and Energy

The availability and types of energy sources is extremely heterogenous, but hydropower remains a key source of electricity in the region. South American countries, for example, generate approximately 70% of their electricity from hydropower. Climate change will increase the occurrence of extreme events such floods and landslides – threatening energy infrastructure – and reducing water availability in areas dependent on glacier melt. Contamination of water sources from oil and natural gas exploitation and energy-intensive mining is an additional concern.

  • NRD icon turbine shaped
  • NRD icon crop shaped 1

Energy and Agriculture

Though the region produces a net surplus of food and is a major exporter of agricultural products, large inequalities means millions still have inadequate access to food. The agriculture sector uses the bulk of its energy to extract and transport groundwater for crop irrigation, so expanding and modernising irrigation with solar-powered irrigation systems is a priority. Biofuels development is also significant, with Brazil and Argentina among the largest global producers of biofuels.


When the programme began in 2016, there were clear gaps in available knowledge about the interconnections, potential synergies and trade-offs between the water, energy and food sectors in LAC and their impacts on livelihoods, wellbeing and ecosystems. The first phase aimed to boost Nexus issues into high-level regional policy discourses, identify WEF Nexus synergies and support policy recommendations to strengthen natural resource management. 

In collaboration with CEPAL and other regional stakeholders, the Nexus Regional Dialogue Programme in Latin America and the Caribbean achieved the following outcomes in phase I:

Key Activities

Kicking the Nexus approach into high gear

Building on the successes of the first phase, Phase II of the Nexus Regional Dialogue Programme in Latin America and the Caribbean will focus on the practical application of the Nexus approach. The overarching goals are to increase the application of the NEXUS approach in planning and policies and generate increased interest from public and private investors for projects following the Nexus approach.  

The main objectives include: 

  • Demonstration Projects that showcase Nexus benefits and value-added
  • Providing technical assistance at the national level to ensure viability of Nexus adoption at an institutional level
  • Participation in SNIP (Network of National Public Investment Systems) and other regional and global events
  • Developing an online training on Nexus in Latin America and the Caribbean with supporting webinars
  • Organising events including 3 online sub-regional workshops, a high-level Regional Policy Dialogue, donor workshop meetings
  • Using the Methodological Guideline for adopting Nexus approach in LAC to strengthen national and regional stakeholders’ policy development capacities

WEF Nexus demonstration project

Bringing together ancestral water sources with solar power, crops and livestock, the project seeks to build food security and prosperity in San Pedro de Casta, Peru, through a practical demonstration of the water, energy and food security (WEF) Nexus approach.

Read more about the project here: Nexus Blog // In a remote Andean village in Peru, Nexus connects an ancestral lagoon, guinea pigs and solar energy 


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