Mountains

Publication // Shaping the water–energy–food nexus for resilient mountain livelihoods

By Susanne Wymann von Dach and Renate Fleiner. The aim of the Issue Brief is to reflect on how a Nexus approach can work for mountain communities and what specific challenges faced by mountain communities have to be considered in order to strengthen the water, energy, and food security in mountains in an integrative way.

Abstract

Many rural mountain communities in developing countries face major difficulties in meeting basic needs for water, clean energy and healthy food, not to mention strengthening economically and socially. Local and global changes – such as population growth, climate change and overuse of natural resources – shape and sometimes constrain these communities’ water, energy and food security. Increasing resource demands from nearby urban and lowland areas compoundthe challenges.

How can rural mountain communities improve their water, energy and food security in contexts of growing resource pressure, competitionand uncertainty? Does a water–energy–food (WEF) nexus approach offer a way to identify forward-looking options and policies to strengthen their livelihoods and resilience? Indeed, a WEF nexus assessment can be beneficial when conducted in a participatory process that effectively engagesand empowers mountain communities with a view to fostering equal access to water, energy and food, and enhancing the diversity and depth of mountain communities’ livelihood options.

The suggested participatory process aids stakeholders in assessing the status and trends of WEF systems in mountains, in identifying governance and technical options and in negotiating alternative scenarios. It promotes sharing of relevant knowledge and addressing diverging interests and power relations. It helps to build stakeholders’ capacity to implement cross-sectoral strategies and policies effectively, thus facilitating transformative change towards increased water, energy and food security in mountains.

Published

2019

In

Issue Brief on Sustainable Mountain Development 2019. Bern, Switzerland: Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)); funded by the Austrian Develoment Agency

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Shaping the water–energy–food nexus for resilient mountain livelihoods

 

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Desalination

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Capacity Building

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Climate Change

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