Conference on Water Energy Food Nexus Sees Launch of New Water Initiative
18 November: The Bonn2011: Water Energy Food Nexus Conference, held in Bonn, Germany from 16-18 November 2011, launched the “International Water Stewardship Initiative.”
The Initiative is a collaboration between the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the non-governmental organization WWF, and SAB Miller, a large brewery conglomerate. It aims to encourage companies to take responsibility for tackling water problems. It has €6 million in initial funding and is planned to run for six years.
The Nexus conference was convened by the BMZ in the run-up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) in June 2012. It brought together high-level stakeholders from the water, energy and food sectors in an effort to improve understanding of the interdependencies among these sectors and to develop a joint "Nexus perspective" to the common and interlinked challenges associated with water, energy and food.
On the importance of this broadening of perspectives, Assistant Director-General for Natural Resources of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Alexander Mueller, said “It's time to stop treating food, water and energy as separate issues and tackle the challenge of intelligently balancing the needs of these three sectors, building on synergies, finding opportunities to reduce waste and identifying ways that water can be shared and reused, rather than competed for.” [UN Press Release on Mueller's Statement] [FAO Press Release][Conference Press Release] [Nexus Conference website]