© Mahlknecht, Gonzalez-Bravo and Loge
To attain sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean, where there is a strong dependence on commodity and food price development, priority attention towards energy, water, and food security is critical. In this literature and data analysis, we examined the baseline and trends of resource security based on the Water-Energy-Food Nexus concept. A performance index was developed to evaluate the progress in water, energy, and food security of the region, and a nexus-based index was developed to evaluate the inter-linkages of these resources. Finally, critical issues and challenges for sustainable development were addressed. Results showed that an unprecedented amount of infrastructure is needed to address increasing energy consumption. Emphasis should be placed on gradually replacing high carbon-sources that produce electricity with low carbon-energy systems and clean power production. Results also showed that water scarcity, given unequal distributions of rainfall, will be aggravated by changing climate conditions; improvements in water governance as well as water and sanitation provisions are needed. The region is a net exporter of food, at the expense of water availability and greenhouse gas emissions, and suffers from structural constraints. It is important to foster novel agricultural practices and sustainable food systems.
- Current trends demand urgent attention of energy, water and food security in LAC.
- An unprecedented amount of new energy infrastructure needed for the next decades.
- Need to change gradually from high to low carbon energy systems/clean power.
- Food and energy markets are at the expense of water availability and GHG emissions.
- WEF Nexus approach not yet incorporated the in the design of countries’ policies.