Empowering Sustainability: Insights from the 2nd Regional WEFE Nexus Roundtable

In a significant stride towards a more sustainable future, our esteemed partner, ElBosten, actively participated in the 2nd Regional Roundtable on the Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystems (WEFE) Nexus in the Mediterranean. This event served as a dynamic platform for engaging conversations and strategic discussions. ElBosten generously shares a comprehensive summary of the insights gained during the roundtable, focusing on the establishment of institutional arrangements and policies crucial for the WEFE Nexus.

Key Objectives and Goals: A Roadmap for Integration

Goal 1: Appropriate Institutional Arrangements, Policies, and Cooperation Frameworks

Objective 1.1: Develop/Adapt Appropriate Governance Structures

The discussions emphasised the need for coordination mechanisms at multiple levels—regional, transboundary, country, and local. The institutionalisation of these mechanisms, fostering horizontal and vertical integration among WEFE sectors, was identified as a priority. Spatial integration, with a focus on basins, aquifers, coastal zones, and marine areas, adds a critical dimension.

Objective 1.2: Mainstreaming WEFE Nexus into Policies and Strategies

The participants advocated for cross-sectoral approaches embedded in sectoral policies and strategies. Harmonisation across sectoral “chapters” of national strategies and plans is crucial. Integrated management approaches, such as Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), were highlighted. The strategic linkages with global policy goals, including Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), climate mitigation/adaptation planning, energy transition, and circular economy initiatives, underscore a comprehensive approach.

Goal 2: Efficient and Effective Planning, Financing, and Implementation

Objective 2.1: Shifting Demo Nexus Applications to Mainstreamed Implementation

The approach involves conducting demonstration projects for assessing feasibility, cost-efficiency, and effectiveness. The importance of promoting awareness, facilitating learning opportunities, and attracting funding for upscaling was stressed. Exploring conditions for sharing investment and operating costs among users, along with creating a market to make solutions financially feasible and attractive, forms a strategic focus.

Objective 2.2: Increasing Capacities and Financing for Planning and Implementation

Critical to the strategy is the establishment of necessary institutional and legal frameworks and processes. Participants advocated for prioritising public spending, mobilising national sources of finance, leveraging existing international funding sources like climate financing, and identifying solutions to attract investment capital.

Goal 3: Informed Decision Making Based on Enhanced Science-based Knowledge and Stakeholder Engagement

Objective 3.1: Promoting Scientific Research on WEFE Nexus

The discussions prioritised supporting scientific research to assist policy development and deepen understanding in priority fields. Active engagement with universities and encouragement of academic cooperation underscore the commitment to robust knowledge development.

Objective 3.2: Ensuring Data Availability and Sharing

The emphasis was on modernising, standardising, and harmonising monitoring systems and databases. The proactive stance on promoting the application of new technologies for advanced monitoring systems aligns with the evolving landscape of data management.

Objective 3.3: Developing Capacities of Stakeholders

The discussions included identifying capacity-building needs, preparing related strategies, organising capacity-building and training programs, and promoting knowledge sharing among stakeholders for evidence-based decision-making.

Objective 3.4: Raising Awareness and Stimulating Stakeholder Engagement

The importance was placed on developing awareness campaigns for targeted groups, supporting the engagement of women and youth in decision-making roles, and disseminating successful cases. Commitment to establishing regional Communities of Practice further strengthens stakeholder engagement.

Implementation and Monitoring Frameworks and Synergies

The discussions emphasised leveraging existing institutional mechanisms, such as the Barcelona Convention and the Union for the Mediterranean. Collaborating with institutions, partners, and initiatives/projects for effective implementation and exploring various financial means and capacities to advance integrated options showcase the dedication to comprehensive and impactful actions.

Conclusion: Shaping a Sustainable Nexus

The participation and insights shared during the 2nd Regional WEFE Nexus Roundtable underscore the commitment to shaping a sustainable future. The outlined goals and objectives provide a robust roadmap for addressing the complex interconnections of water, energy, food, and ecosystems. The collaborative spirit, innovative approaches, and dedication to leveraging existing frameworks are key pillars in the collective journey towards a more integrated and sustainable nexus.


This publication reflects the views of the author only. The European Commission and PRIMA Foundation cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

This project (GA n° [2242]) is part of the PRIMA programme supported by the European Union.

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