Nexus Interview Series // Djahida Boukhalfa, Regional Coordinator Nexus Dialogue in the MENA region at GIZ
With this interview series, we want to provide a better picture of the people working for the Nexus Dialogue Programme in the five regions - Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, MENA, Niger River Basin and Southern Africa - and their perspectives on WEF Nexus challenges and opportunities. In this episode, we interview Djahida Boukhalfa, Regional Coordinator of the Nexus Dialogue in the MENA region at GIZ.
Djahida Boukhalfa is a graduate of the High Institute of Agronomy, specialized in forestry and nature conservation in Algiers. She completed her post-graduation in the same institute on landscape management and was specialized in wetlands and waterbirds management and protection. She joined the NRD MENA team in mid-2021. Before this date, she had started her career working for several ministries in Algeria. Later, she joined UNDP in Algeria as Energy & Environment portfolio manager and GEF focal point. Then, she joined the UNDP Regional Bureau for the Arab States in Egypt as a regional coordinator of a regional project on integrated water resources management in the MENA region. Once back in Algeria, she joined the GIZ office in Algiers and worked on several projects as principal technical advisor.
What does the WEF Nexus approach mean to you and how would you describe it in your own words?
D: The WEF NEXUS approach, in my opinion, is a tool to resolve conflicts between vital sectors such as Water, Agriculture and Energy, and bring them to a collaboration for a better life for the population. This collaboration should be translated into integrated national and local development plans agreed by all sectors and taking into account all problems of the impacts of climate change on desertification and loss of biodiversity because of the scarcity of water considered as a critical issue in the MENA region.
The approach is also linking sustainable development to the wise use of natural resources and clean energy in order to ensure food and water security. This could also be one way to fight against poverty in the MENA region.
What are the main Nexus challenges in the MENA region? Can you mention a specific example?
D: The main challenge of the Nexus approach in my opinion is how to bring other important sectors (than those named above) to collaborate and contribute to adopting Nexus tools. MENA is one of the most impacted regions by climate change endangering water resources and availability, biodiversity stocks and then human life, especially at the local level. Nexus must be a methodology adopted by the governments at a very high level to create synergies between all sectors to provide one national common development plan. Another challenging aspect is how to convince decision-makers that the sectors are interlinked and the development is based on close collaboration. In my opinion, sectoral strategies should converge towards a unique national development plan for economic efficiency perspectives.
What is the most promising approach for implementing/mainstreaming WEF Nexus in the MENA region and why?
D: I think that identifying national and local needs will open opportunities for the Nexus implementation approach. Knowing that a great job is undertaken to face global issues such as climate change and desertification, and national plans for food security are/should be prepared by all the countries, this also gives promising windows for mainstreaming the Nexus approach.
Thank you Djahida for taking the time to answer the questions!
More information about the NRD in MENA
- Fact Sheet // Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme Phase II
- Nexus Fact Sheet // The Nexus Regional Dialogue in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region phase I
- Nexus Regional Dialogue MENA // Benefits, Risks, Policy Options and Innovative Financing Models of SPIS
- Nexus Blog // Access to finance for WEF Nexus in the MENA Region
- Nexus Blog // Workshop on Transboundary Water Cooperation in the MENA Region in Beirut
Read more of our interview series "Introducing the Nexus Dialogue Programme and the People behind it" here:
- Nexus Interview Series // Shamiso Kumbirai, SDG Water Investments Officer at Global Water Partnership Southern Africa
- Interview Series // Introducing the Nexus Dialogue Programme and the People behind it: Irene Sander, Coordinator of the Global Nexus Secretariat
- Interview Series // Introducing the Nexus Dialogue Programme and the People behind it: Antonio Levy (Coordinator of the Nexus Dialogue in Latin America and the Caribbean)
- Interview Series //Introducing the Nexus Dialogue Programme and the People behind it: Dr. Nisreen Lahham (Coordinator of the Nexus Dialogue in MENA Phase I)
- Interview Series // Introducing the Nexus Dialogue Programme and the People behind it: Luca Ferrini (Coordinator of the Nexus Dialogue in Niger Basin Phase I)