Moving towards a Green Economy — Stockholm WWW’s contribution into the water-food-energy nexus recognition Print
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Friday, 07 September 2012 15:10

The workshop made a step towards the recognition and development of the Water-Food-Energy Nexus as a new concept, which links to Green growth concept and promotes a need of the key sectors integration: water supply, energy and agriculture in the context of sustainable development.

This workshop on Nexus was a continuation of the Germany initiative that was launched in Bonn in 2001 at the International Fresh water Conference (December 2001) and developed at Bonn 2011 Conference “The Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus: solutions for the Green Economy” (November 2011). The Bonn 2011 Conference made substantial contribution into recognition of key role of Water for the Green Growth at the RIO+20 Conference.

Achieving water security and food security for all in an increasingly water stressed world is intimately linked to energy security. While food demand may increase up to 70% by 2050, the global demand for energy may increase up to 40%. Agriculture accounts for some 70% of the world's freshwater withdrawals for food, feed and fibre, as well as for production of bio-fuels. Energy production accounts for up to 45% of all water withdrawals in some parts of the world. Satisfying these demands, while maintaining ecosystems, livelihoods, fisheries and biodiversity, is a challenge. While energy production carries a heavy water bill, a significant energy bill is associated with pumping, treatment and desalination of water. The “footprints” work both ways. Hence water, food and energy security need to be addressed in an integrated way, in the context of a pro-poor green economy valuing ecosystem services, as a “nexus” with water at the heart. It will also exemplify solutions to maximise synergies towards a 'green food security', and to enable policy and institutional changes required to better address the social, economic and environmental dimensions of the green economy through a “nexus” approach.

The participants of the workshop had a good chance to understand the concept, as well as discuss the number of interesting presentations made by the best world experts on the issue and actual researches, analytical works and practical knowledge on Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus, as well as the perspectives and ways of implementation of the Nexus concept.

During the beginning of the Workshop the issue of inclusion of the Environmental pillar into the Nexus concept was raised by WWF representative, and role of Ecosystems (infrastructure and services) for Water, Food and Energy was discussed by the workshop participants.

The key messages developed by the Workshop were the following:

-          The Nexus concept is new and needs further development, awareness raising and capacity building of politicians and broad public for better understanding and implementation.

-          A nexus approach supports the sustainability by increasing productivity of resources, recycling and reusing of the resources, minimizing and reusing waste by improving governance based on participatory approach. Nexus can be applicable for developed and developing countries.

-          The Nexus is about the integration of the Water, Energy and Food sectors based on efficiency of production and consumption, recognition of the values’ chain, demands and resources governance and optimization of the technologies for Energy and Food production and provision of equal access to water and sanitation

-          Water plays a central role in the Nexus. Green and blue waters distinguishing are important in context of sustainable water use. Ecosystem infrastructure and services play a key role in water resources ability to renew. Water for nature has to be taken into due account to water economy and water sharing among users.

-          Water pricing is an open issue and needs clarification and economical calculations based on water footprint instrument, which has to be coherent CO2 footprint application.

-          Energy sector can contribute into Climate Change (Cl CH) mitigation; water sector has possibility to adapt to Cl Ch.

-          From and based on IWRM we can go to the next step on integrated Water-Energy and Land and ecosystem management. Nexus is step forward Green Growth and Sustainable Development.

Read more:

Jagerskog.A., Jonch Clausen, T., (eds.) 2012. Feeding a Thirsty World – Challenges and Opportunities for a Water and Secure Future. Report № 31. SIWI, Stockholm

Hoff, H. (2011). Understanding the Nexus. Background Paper for the Bonn 2011 Conference: The Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus. Stockholm Environmental Institute, Stockholm