The Arab region experiences new and continuously growing challenges due to socioeconomic transitions related to population growth, urbanization, socio-economic development and political instability, as well as to land degradation and climate change, among others. The region faces an arid and extremely variable climate with increasing pressure on water resources, both natural and human-induced, and is highly dependent on food imports, while at the same time energy – fossil as well as renewable – is abundant. Efficiency of resource use remains low, and underpopulation and economic development, demands for water, energy and food, and the pressure on natural resources, for ensuring human securities, increase rapidly. Climate change aggravates this situation acting as a threat multiplier. A core problem, when it comes to addressing the increasing resource scarcities in a sustainable manner and adapting to climate change, lies in the low level of capacity in the institutions and authorities responsible and in the lack of integration in management and governance of natural resources.
The nexus approach provides new opportunities for increasing resource efficiencies, overcoming resource scarcities, improving human well-being and supporting political stability and regional cooperation, by addressing the interdependencies between the respective resources (water, energy, land), human securities (water, energy, food, WEF) and sustainable development. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) supports the League of Arab States (LAS) with the technical assistance project “Adaptation to Climate Change in the Water Sector in the MENA Region” (ACCWaM). Within this project, a study focusing on nexus mainstreaming has been subcontracted to GFA Consulting Group under the title “Water Energy Food Security Nexus Mainstreaming in the MENA Region”. The core objective is to identify entry points, processes and partners for WEF nexus mainstreaming in the MENA region and value-adding to regional and national policies and institutions there while contributing to integrated SDG implementation and climate change adaptation and mitigation.
The following document is the introductory first part of five of this final report. The other parts are:
- Part 2: Options for a Nexus Coordination Mechanism for the League of Arab States
- Part 3: Regional Policy Guidelines for Mainstreaming the Water-Energy-Food Nexus
- Part 4: National Policy Guidelines for Mainstreaming the Water-Energy-Food Nexus
- Part 5: Lessons Learnt Report from Mainstreaming the Water-Energy-Food Security (WEF) Nexus