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1st Press Release after policy-stakeholder engagements

This year’s IFAT Munich, the world’s leading trade fair for water, sewage, waste, and raw materials management, took a significant step forward by integrating the Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystem (WEFE) Nexus into its agenda. The event, held from May 13-17, focused on adapting to the consequences of climate change, with a special emphasis on sustainable water use and its implications for Africa.

In collaboration with the Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection and the Technical University of Munich, the Bavarian Research Alliance (BayFOR) co-organised pivotal discussions that brought together international experts to spotlight the challenges and opportunities of water security in Africa. The FrontAg Nexus project was featured prominently during these discussions, showcasing its commitment to addressing global challenges through innovative research.

A key highlight of the event was the panel discussion titled “Water Security in Africa – An Integrated WEFE Nexus Perspective: Challenges and Opportunities,” held on May 14th. Esteemed panellists, including Tony Rinaudo from World Vision and Prof. Dr. Akica Bahri, former Minister of Agriculture, Water Resources, and Fisheries of Tunisia, shared insights into nature-based and integrated resource management approaches essential for sustainable water use and ecosystem regeneration.

The discussions underscored the severe impacts of climate change, such as drought and flooding, which, coupled with inadequate water management, are exacerbating water insecurity, triggering mass migrations, and escalating conflicts across the continent.

Following the panel, a workshop on “Water Security in Africa: Implementation & Transfer of Solutions” offered a platform for discussing actionable solutions from financial, administrative, and policy perspectives. This session also served as an opportunity by BayFOR to point at European Union-funded projects like FrontAg Nexus and INCiTiS-FOOD and how they are making strides in climate-smart and water-saving agri-food innovations.

The FrontAg Nexus project, presented as a best-practice example, illustrates the importance of breaking up policy silos and advocating for cooperative and holistic policy designs and research approaches. “During the workshop, Prof. Dr. Akica Bahri reiterated that water security remains one of the most pressing global challenges, urging that policies and actions should prioritise this issue, especially as access to clean drinking water becomes increasingly problematic for many African countries”, noted Wubneshe Biru, Co-Coordinator of FrontAg Nexus.

As FrontAg Nexus continues to foster dialogue and develop solutions at the intersection of water security and sustainable development, the insights gained from IFAT Munich 2024 will guide its ongoing efforts to enhance food security through innovative, circular economy-based food systems.

For further information, please visit https://frontagnexus.eu/

Initiated in May 2023, FrontAg Nexus, supported by the EU’s PRIMA program, tackles climate change and food insecurity in the Mediterranean. This innovative project employs climate-smart and water-saving technologies like hydroponics, aquaponics, insect farming, vermiculture, and agrophotovoltaic aiming for sustainable food production in areas such as Israel, Italy, and Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, and Türkiye. Led by Prof. Gertrud Buchenrieder, from UniBw M, it’s a leap towards ecological balance, improved living standards, and robust, year-round food sources.

To learn more about the FrontAg Nexus project and stay up to date, visit https://frontagnexus.eu and follow us on social media: 

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Stay tuned as we continue to push the boundaries of sustainable agriculture and foster innovation for a greener, more resilient future. 

Disclaimer

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.

Ce projet (AG n° [2242]) fait partie du programme PRIMA soutenu par l'Union européenne.

Instrument: PRIMA, the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area 

Total costs:  € 3.206.895,00

Duration: 3 years, 1/5/2023 – 30/4/2026

Consortium: A total of 10 partners from 8 countries (Germany, Greece, Italy, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Türkiye)

FrontAg Nexus Homepage by PRIMA: https://qap.mel.cgiar.org/projects/1828 

Project CoordinatorsProf. Gertrud Buchenrieder
Dr. Wubneshe Biru
Universität der Bundeswehr München
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Project CommunicationDimitris Fotakidis
Foodscale Hub Greece
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