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Eighth session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention

10 - 12 October 2018

Astana, Kazakhstan

Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystems Nexus: Benefits for resource security across borders

Date and time: Wednesday, 10 October, 1.30-2.45pm
Location: Astana EXPO Congress Center, Room n°1. Syr Darya
Co-organisers: IUCN, CAREC, in collaboration with UNECE
Languages: English, French and Russian

Description of the event

This side-event is organised in the framework of the EU-funded “Central Asia Nexus Dialogue Project: Fostering Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus Dialogue and Multi-Sector Investment” implemented jointly by the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) and the International Union for Conservation (IUCN). The side-event also provides for sharing experience from a series of assessments of the water-food-energy-ecosystems nexus under the Water Convention.

Water, energy and food are inextricably linked. In order to achieve security in all three sectors, while also protecting vital ecosystems, integrated solutions are necessary. The Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystems Nexus is an approach that offers such integrated solutions.

Increased vulnerability due to climate change, a growing world population and growing needs for investments, innovation and human capacity, exacerbate demands on water, energy and food resources and related ecosystem services. It has become clear that sectoral approaches are no longer sufficient in solving complex environmental and development problems. Instead, interdependencies and interactions of various resources and sectors are best addressed by inter-sectoral integration and cooperation with the aim of achieving environmentally sustainable outcomes and socio-economic development. The nexus approach compels us to think more long-term, including by providing room for multi-sectoral dialogue and negotiation.

This side-event will consider experiences from various regions, including Central Asia, and demonstrate the value of applying the Nexus approach at regional level. It will highlight opportunities for transboundary cooperation to achieve water, energy and food security, while protecting ecosystems and the services they provide. Focussed on practical examples, the side-event will provide space for country representatives to talk about the challenges faced and benefits derived from operationalising the Water-Energy-Food Nexus in their region/country.

Main questions for discussion

  • What is the value of the nexus for transboundary cooperation and negotiation?
  • How can the Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystems Nexus support multi-sectoral planning and implementation?
  • What kind of concrete opportunities and experiences do countries and cooperation organizations have of intersectoral or integrated planning, decision-making and implementation? How can practical application be further promoted and key challenges addressed?