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The WEF Nexus in Latin America and the Caribbean
The region has significant water, energy, and food resources but they are unevenly distributed geographically. Regional variations lead to different challenges, including increased demand on natural resources, weak governance capacity, significant inequalities, and growing urbanization. Ensuring water, energy, and food security of the 646 million inhabitants within the region requires balancing competing demands on resources while also protecting vulnerable ecosystems. Since 2016, the Nexus Regional Dialogue (NRD) Programme in Latin America and the Caribbean has been working to institutionalise the Water Energy Food (WEF) Nexus in public policy and planning. To show the added value of applying the WEF Nexus approach, the programme has carried out demonstration projects, capacity building activities, regional dialogues, context-related studies, and desk research to identify financing opportunities.
Exploring how the WEF Nexus approach can support land-use and watershed management
The policy dialogue: “Water-Energy-Food Nexus initiative for territorial planning” was co-organized by the NRD for Latin America and the Caribbean, the Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria en Argentina (INTA) and the Ministerio de Agricultura, Ganadería y Pesca de Argentina. The mandate of the seminar is anchored under the wider strategy of the INTA and NRD lead project: "Socio-Agro-Environmental alternatives: foresight, observatories and territorial planning for agri-food sustainability". The latter is implemented in cooperation with strategic partners from public and private institutions and supported under Argentina’s national programme of “Regional and Territorial Development”.
Project coordinator Javier Vitale and his colleague Franco Salvadores (INTA) co-moderated the seminar. Eduardo Cittadini, national coordinator of the Regional and Territorial Development programme (INTA), highlighted the benefits how theoretical and methodological experience as well as concrete results offers an interdisciplinary perspective. Antonio Levy, NRD regional coordinator in LAC (GIZ), provided an overview of the WEF Nexus’ context and its holistic and integrated approach as a way of facilitating intersectoral planning. Applying Nexus thinking within territorial planning facilitates identifying connections between sectors when making decisions on national, regional, and local scales. From different WEF Nexus perspectives, this could facilitate policies on strengthening agricultural development, industrial development, identifying which areas will house public infrastructure or which areas will be dedicated to nature conservation.
Professor Antonio Embid from the University of Zaragoza (Spain), a pioneer in bringing the WEF Nexus to Latin America and especially to Argentina, was invited as a guest speaker. He presented the central concept related to the Nexus, contrasting the modern understanding of the Nexus versus the integrated water, energy, and food system practices transmitted from ancestral knowledge.
This was followed by a panel discussion of Nexus approach specialists from Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, and Chile (see below). They conveyed their experience and exchanged on strategies on how to increase the application of the Nexus approach in the framework of land-use planning and watershed management processes on the Latin American scale. The insightful discussions were centered around analyzing significant case-studies and increasing the awareness of the conceptual and methodological framework of the WEF Nexus. Various INTA working groups and external actors, engaged in territorial development, joined in to explore new and innovative land-use and watershed management strategies.
Members of the Panel:
- Federica Brenner from Ente Regulador de Agua y Saneamiento (Argentina)
- Rossana Gaudioso from the Secretary of Environment (Uruguay)
- Leandro Luiz Giatti from Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil)
- Michael Hantke Domas (Chile)
Concluding the panel discussion, participants agreed that successful terretorial planning requires the implementation and promotion of intersectoral planning and the identification of interconnections and interrelationships between different production systems.
Roberto Miguel from the EEA Chilecito of INTA gave the concluding remarks, through which he highlighted the strong ideas of the speakers and presented the main challenges for the adoption of the Nexus approach.
Watch the recording of the seminar (in Spanish)
For questions and further information, please contact Franco Salvadores
Find the Spanish review of the seminar here.
To learn more about the Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme in Latin America and the Caribbean visit the project page.