Water efficiency, productivity and sustainability in the NENA regions (WEPS-NENA)

Water-Energy-Food Nexus Webinar series second round - 2021 Solutions Using Water-Energy-Food Nexus Approaches

The water-energy-food (WEF) nexus is a useful framework for addressing complex transdisciplinary natural resource and environmental challenges in integrated, innovative ways. This webinar series explores using and operationalizing WEF nexus approaches for finding solutions to these challenges. The series focuses on examples and solutions by linking and using WEF nexus approaches to timely interventions, technologies and issues of importance, especially in the context of COVID-19 and climate change.

Session 1: Disaster resilience and risk in the context on Water-Energy-Food Nexus: Insights from Africa

The first session under Block 2 covered the disasters such as droughts, floods, fires, pests and diseases expose millions of people in Africa to food, water, and energy insecurity that have been exacerbated by climate change. Disasters create huge humanitarian needs with impacts on household livelihoods and hamper long term investments. All this is intensified by inadequate information to enable risk-informed decisions. This seminar discusses different approaches across Africa to prevent, mitigate and address disaster risk and resilience, specifically through a water-energy food nexus lens with solutions in mind. 

Session 2: Cooperation across borders and sectors: Experiences from the SADC region on institutionalizing the WEF nexus approach

This session gave insights into the successful mainstreaming of the water, energy, and food security NEXUS approach into governance structures. It will present different approaches for WEF Nexus transboundary cooperation and governance from three different regions: Southern Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Niger Basin. Key questions that will be addressed are: - What are the necessary steps to establish and endorse a Nexus governance framework/ structure? - How can the benefits of the WEF Nexus approach initiate or intensify transboundary cooperation? - What are the lessons learned.

Session 3: Sustainable electricity production by integrated food, energy and water systems: opportunities and challenges

Innovations such as agrivoltaics have opened new prospects to improve the quality of life while increasing the resilience of the agricultural sector against climate change. The integrated triple land-use system allows producing food, electricity, and water without exploiting natural aquifers and new land. Agrivoltaics is rapidly gaining popularity, but not yet in African countries. The webinar sought to explore this innovation by presenting opportunities and challenges for such systems in Africa. Furthermore, it provided insight into the role of photovoltaics in community farming in Gambia and describes the models behind existing projects and investment strategies/behaviors within a local framework. The webinar session was organized in collaboration with the United Nation University Vice-Rectorate in Europe (UNU-ViE) in the frame of the Agrophotovoltaics for The Gambia and Mali (APV-MaGa) Project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Session 4: Beyond traditional financing models for smallholders and other end-users in the water-energy-food nexus: challenges and innovative solutions

In rural areas around the globe access to finance is a prerequisite for the sustainable development of end-users (e.g. smallholder farmers and agri-food SMEs). Without access to finance, end-users of the water-energy-food nexus face extreme hardships to grow their businesses or increase their income! But who are the end-users in the WEF nexus? What are their needs and challenges in accessing finance? And what new, innovative financial models exist to enable end-users to grow their businesses or increase their income? This webinar provided answers while it aims to share knowledge, raise awareness, and advance the discussion on how to close the end-user financing gap in the WEF nexus - with a special focus on the West Africa Region.

Session 5: Scaling up WEF Nexus solution - What is FAO doing about it?

The session presented and discussed some of FAO’s tools and work regarding the implementation of the WEF Nexus approach. The presentation and discussion will be based on concrete examples of where FAO’s WEF Nexus approach and tools have been applied to the assessment of sustainable bioenergy potential, solar irrigation, and investments in renewable energy for food chains. The session also featured some major challenges and opportunities to scale up the WEF Nexus.

The session was led by the Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment (OCB)-FAOHQ and presented by Olivier Dubois, Irini Maltsoglou, and Manas Puri from the Energy Team.

Session 6: Governing the Water-Energy-Food Nexus: A policy-science dialogue!

How can cross-sectoral coordination and decision-making successfully be integrated into governance structures? This webinar will answer this question by bringing together both science and practice to reveal existing barriers, challenges, and opportunities with a focus on the MENA region.

A lively discussion with the audience following the two key presentations will be conducted.

This session will be presented by:

o   Dr. Ines Dombrowsky, German Development Institute (DIE)

o   Dr. Louy Qoaider, Energy Efficient Water Sector (EEWS), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

The session will be moderated by Irene Sander, Global Nexus Secretariat, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

Date: 23 June 2022 at 2 PM GMT+2




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