Meeting the growing water demand without compromising sustainability is a rising challenge in the context of growing population and under the pressure of climate change impacts. It is therefore crucial to better understand the interactions between water, food, energy and water-related ecosystems in river basins, in order to strengthen synergies and policy coherence between water, agriculture, energy and land management sectors.
The assessment of these interdependencies is even more relevant in transboundary basins, where identifying intersectoral synergies and mutually beneficial solutions can help reducing trade-offs and potential conflicts, not only across sectors, but also across borders, and support the decision-making process to enhance sustainability.
Recognising this, the Parties to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) have included in the Work Programme 2013-2015 an assessment of the water-food-energy-ecosystems nexus in selected transboundary basins and established the Task Force on the Water-Food-Energy-Ecosystem Nexus to overview and guide its preparation. The overall approach to assessing the nexus was discussed and agreed uponin general terms at the first meeting of the Task Force held in Geneva from 8 to 9 April 2013, and as next steps,. UNECE in cooperation with partners is developing and applying a highly participatory nexus methodology for transboundary basins. The assessment has an important capacity-building function, aimed at supporting the administrations working at the basin and national levels, as well as other stakeholders.
A key step in the process was this workshop organized in Kachreti, Georgia, from 25 to 27 November 2013 about the intersectoral and transboundary aspects of managing the resources of the Alazani/Ganikh River Basin shared by Azerbaijan and Georgia. The workshop brought together from both countries the representatives of the different economic sectors as well as water and environment administrations, companies and civil society to learn about the approach, discuss the sectoral policies and plans, jointly identify the most important inter-sectoral linkages and impacts in the basin as well as potential solutions.
The co-organizing partners were the UNDP/GEF project “Reducing Transboundary Degradation in the Kura Aras River Basin” and the Ministry of Environment Protection and Natural Resources of Georgia.
The methodology development for the nexus assessment and its piloting are supported financially by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
A set of basins in the pan-European region, Africa and Asia will be assessed by mid-2015 under the UNECE Water Convention using the same methodology in revised form.
List of participants
Navigating the NEXUS
Climate Change predictions in the Alzani/Ganih Basin
Climate change impact to water resources of Azerbaijan and measures of adaptation