Bringing Ecosystems to the Forefront of the Water-Energy-Food Nexus Discussion IUCN/IWA/UNEP Side Event at Nexus 2014 Conference, Chapel Hill, North Carolina March 5, 2014 Carla Friedrich Associate Programme Officer United Nations Environment Programme Regional Office for North America Why Nexus? Already water is a scarce resource in many places. GEO-4 estimates that by 2025 two-thirds of the global population will be living in areas experiencing water stress. Agriculture is already the biggest user of freshwater resources; expanding and intensifying bioenergy production could add to existing pressures. As the integrity of water systems declines, they are less able to provide fundamental ecosystem services such as the provision of clean water, natural filtration services, natural habitat for fisheries etc. Global challenges such as climate change, population growth, change in living standards and energy demand will further impact the world’s water supplies. The Nexus: Emphasis Within Different Organizations ‘Ecosystems,’ ‘Risk Reduction,’ and ‘Sustainability’ are missing from the dialogue The Nexus According to UNEP Figure 1 Figure 2 - UNEP Sustainable Livelihoods & Green Growth An Ecosystem Services Emphasis Supporting a wide range of ecosystem services for long-term socio-economic and environmental benefits Water for Food production: -biomass for food and fodder production (irrigation and rainfed) -food processing Agricultural waste and residues and food waste for bioenergy Energy for Food Security: -irrigation -fertilizer production - agricultural machinery -food preservation and processing -transport -cooking Food Energy for Access to Water: -water pumping and distribution -water treatment -sea water desalination Integrated Water Resource Management Water for Energy production: -extraction, mining, refining and residue disposal of fossil fuels -plant cooling -hydropower -bioenergy feedstock production Energy Energy – Food Systems and Integrated Planning Water Agricultural waste and residues to rebuild soil Land Agro-Ecological Zoning Source: M.Otto UNEP’s Role: Governance Involving relevant sectors in dialogues Convincing policy makers to apply a system of economic and environmental accounting, including valuation of natural capital Assisting in the development of policy and management tools Putting ecosystems at the center of the water-energy-food Nexus Examples of Relevant UNEP Activities Landcapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative (with EcoAgriculture, FAO, WRI, CI, and other partners) Incorporation of ecosystems regulatory services in decision support systems (with IWMI) Zambezi and Nile GEF floods and droughts project in the Mekong and Volta Integrating water and energy activities in the green economy Wastewater and sanitation resource recovery and energy reuse Work on biomass optimization using land and water (with FAO and IUCN -exploring options for a platform that engages various production and end use sectors, governments and civil society) Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes, such as valuation efforts in the Mekong and trans-boundary basin plans in Okavango Flagship project on Ecosystem-Based Adaptation (with UNDP, IUCN and BMU) Recent publications The Bioenergy and Water Nexus Ecosystems for Water and Food Security Avoiding future famines: Strengthening the ecological foundation of food security through sustainable food systems The Environmental Food Crisis: The Environment's role in averting future food crisis Next Steps Promote science to address knowledge gaps Develop and promote a toolbox Policy support and capacity building Further engage in the dialogue Creating a common vision: The Water-Food-Energy-Ecosystems Nexus International Conference on Sustainability in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus 19-20 May 2014 in Bonn, Germany Complementary to IUCN/IWA Nexus dialogues on water infrastructures Main topics Tools for the sustainable implementation of the Nexus approach Governance and management of the Nexus Considering the Environment and Livelihoods Implementing the Nexus at Various Scales http://wef-conference.gwsp.org Join !