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Updated On: Thursday, 20 September 2018

NGO's call for 'Nexus' Integration of Food, Water and Energy

Content by: South-South News

29 august, 2014 , New York, USA | Shari Nijman - Food, water, and energy: not one is more important than the other, but with a growing population more people have to share the same scarce resources. Environmental NGO's came to the UN this week to discuss an integrated approach, or 'nexus' to our resources.

"The nexus is a triangle. You need to consider water, energy and food policies equally,” Olimar Maisonet, member of the young professionals team at the Swedish International Water Institute explained.

Felix Dodds, Senior Fellow at the Global Research Institute at the University of North Carolina illustrated what happens when all divisions within a local government think their project deserves full access to the available energy and water supply: :We are all thinking the same water is being use to some extend by those different sectors, they all think they have the first dibs on it,” he said.

 In many countries, legislation for water and sanitation, energy and land use operate in separate pillars, with very little cooperation among them.

“You have your minister of water resources; you have your ministry of energy; you have your ministry of agriculture. All of them have resources.” Maisonet said. “ All of their projects need water. All of their projects are depending on the energy availability of your country. So why aren't they at the table making decisions together?”

All this nexus approach requires strong partnership work,” Maruxa Cardama, Executive Project Coordinator of Communitas, the coalition for sustainable cities and regions, added.

In a consumption society, a huge role in this energy nexus is played by the private sector, who, whether it be for altruistic or economic reasons, can no longer ignore the problem.

A lot of the innovative thinking when it comes to the nexus has actually come from the private sector,” Maisonet said, who mentioned Coca Cola and Pepsi as examples of companies that have high financial stakes in the continued availability of water and energy, and therefore have researched sustainable solutions at length.

Unless the world starts integrating its usage of land, water and food, the 21st century will see a dramatic depletion in all of them. But smarter usage may be the key to using what we have longer, and perhaps discovering enough new energy sources to last us long into the future.

 

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