Nexus Regional Dialogue in Latin America

Nexus and diversity: The Latin American Region

 

The supply of water energy and food and its respective natural resources - the WEF-Nexus - is is highly heterogeneously distributed in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

50 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) currently do not have adequate access to food, 36 million are without improved water supplies and 110 million without improved sanitation facilities. Access to electricity in the region is at 95%, but reaching the last 30 million people will require a lot of planning and coordination. Moreover,  LAC is a region facing population growth closely related to increasing urbanisation, climate change especially in the Andean region. Internal additional pressure on natural resources and their inter-linkages. In order to fulfil these high demands in LAC, it is necessary to understand the interconnections (synergies, conflicts and compensations) between water, energy and food, and to introduce a comprehensive approach to achieve water, energy and food security, environmental and social equality.  Among the different areas of interconnections between water, energy and food that were identified as of priority interest for LAC, there are hydroelectric generation, mining and oil, expansion and modernisation of irrigation, overexploitation of aquifers, agriculture and food, services of potable water and sanitation in cities (Urban nexus), and bio-fuels.

In LAC it is possible to identify at least 5 subregions that  present common peculiarities being of relevance for the implementation of certain dimensions of the Nexus approach, which  are the Southern Cone, the Andean region, the Amazon region, Mesoamerica and the Caribbean.

The Nexus Regional Dialogue works in close cooperation with the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) to raise Nexus issues up  to high-level regional policy discourses,  to support the identification of interlinkages (synergies, impacts, conflicts, trade-offs)  between water, energy and food, as well as to support  the recommendation of policies for strengthening the management of natural resources.The engagement of other national, regional and international institutions, governments and relevant stakeholders will ensure the endorsement of the programme.

The Dialogue Programme in LAC comprises different elements that are basically the same in each region. The upcoming activities at national level are based on a regional study on priority interconnections of the Nexus in LAC. Two Nexus case studies were identified and will be elaborated at national level in Costa Rica and Peru. These include stakeholder workshops in order to achieve optimal endorsement of the Nexus approach.Based on the studies, two pilot projects will demonstrate the added value of the Nexus approach at local level.The outcomes from both the studies and pilot projects will be used as an input for a region-specific Nexus capacity development training, which is meant for further enabling regional stakeholders in Nexus thinking. Resulting from the different activities in the region, Nexus policy guidelines will be formulated for LAC and additionally they will be discussed in a regional Nexus forum.The first phase of the programme concludes with the preparation of a regional Nexus action plan.

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