The UAE, Jordan and the Netherlands call for a Water, Energy and Food Nexus approach

Update

January 19, 2022

Social

The UAE, Jordan and the Netherlands call for a Water, Energy and Food Nexus approach

Update

January 19, 2022

Social

By 2050, the global population is set to increase to almost 10 billion, while 70 percent of people are expected to be living in cities. Already large swathes of the world’s population face water stress, food scarcity and energy poverty. Accelerated population growth combined with rapid urbanisation is also putting unprecedented pressure on water, energy and food. These precious resources are critical for human health, food security and livelihoods of people across the globe. What we do now will impact the survival of our own and future generations.

For this reason, the UAE, Jordan and the Netherlands have embarked on a path of collaboration around the Uniting Water, Energy and Food Nexus theme. By acknowledging the connectedness between water, energy and food, the three countries hope to create a collective understanding that integrated innovative solutions are required to tackle these truly global challenges. This collaboration has culminated in a ground-breaking two-day Trilateral Summit on Uniting Water, Energy and Food at Expo 2020, renamed the Water Food Energy Nexus Summit to avoid confusion. The summit, which is the first of its kind, aims to advance innovations which have the potential to solve the immense challenges we face.

 

Ongoing collaboration

At the summit, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Liesje Schreinemacher, joins Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and HE Dr Saleh Al- Kharabsheh, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources of Jordan in calling on governments of the world to join with them in recognising the interdependent relationships between water, energy and food security. Together, they will also highlight the importance of identifying synergies between these three scarce resources.

 

As she addressed the summit, Minister Schreinemacher said, “Around the world, we face enormous challenges when it comes to water, energy, and food. These issues affect all countries, so we must look for solutions together. This cooperation between the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan is a good example of how all parties can benefit from working together. For example, our three countries are working on a database that keeps track of how much water is needed to provide people with drinking water and how to grow vegetables, now, and in even more extreme weather conditions. The interaction between the business community, knowledge institutions, and governments is essential in tackling these global challenges.”

 

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week

Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands delivered a virtual keynote speech at the opening of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week on Monday in which he also emphasised the importance of uniting water, food and energy issues for a more sustainable future.

 

Youth engagement

The Netherlands is keen to join with international partners in solving the challenges in the water, energy and food nexus. As a low-lying deltaic country, Dutch people have learnt from centuries of dealing with the threat of too much water to rely on collaboration as the best way to ensure everyone’s interests are taken into account. That way no-one is left behind. This has led to the Netherlands quadruple helix strategy, in which governments at all levels work with knowledge centres, businesses and local communities to achieve the best results. In the nexus, we combine the themes of water, energy and food to create integrated solutions to tackle too much, too little and too dirty water, while addressing food security and energy issues.
 

The UAE, Jordan and the Netherlands also recognise the crucial part young people have to play in accelerating the Sustainable Development Goals and the climate agreements made in Paris. In the lead up to the summit, young innovators on the virtual Uniting Water Energy Food Innovation Tour have demonstrated their inspirational solutions in the MENA, the APAC regions and the Netherlands. At the summit, finalists from 15 selected projects will pitch their ideas in a ‘Get in the Ring’ battle to leading investors. The long-term impact of the transition to net-zero emissions make youth engagement an unmissable factor in developing realistic policies for the future.

 
Join the Water, Energy and Food Nexus approach

The Water Food Energy Nexus Summit is the first stepping stone towards a more joined-up effort to launch a dialogue on international fora to strengthen the Water, Energy and Food Nexus approach. The UAE, Jordan and the Netherlands are committed to urging other governments and all other stakeholders “to join in our Call to Action to implement the Water, Energy and Food Nexus approach.”