The Amazon Security Agenda (ASA) & Nexus Dialogue

One of my most interesting consultancy jobs in Brazil was a short contract for the Global Canopy Programme (GCP). I participated in a scoping study on the connection and interdependence (the ‘nexus’, as it is also called) of water, energy and food security in Latin America. I focused on Brazil, in which these interdependencies became utterly clear over the last year. A lack of rainfall in the south caused water crises in the area of São Paulo, the economical heart of Brazil. This had a major impact on the food and energy industry, as 80% of the country’s electricity is generated by hydro power dams. And what actually caused this lack of rainfall? Suddenly the attention for deforestation of the Amazon and global warming rose, and the connections between water, energy and food security became clear to a people that were generally used to see these as isolated issues. This video below is a great illustration of the nexus concept.

Through a desk-based stakeholder mapping and in-depth interviews with a range of stakeholders across government, civil society, academia, and the private sector, we got more insight in the key challenges, trade-offs and opportunities in this space. I found it very interesting to speak to the different Brazilian stakeholders, each of them told me about their experience on the subject, their projects and vision, they all spoke with a lot of passion. The results were used in two parallel initiatives:

  1. The Amazonia Security Agenda (ASA) , a collaboration between FFLA and GCP that seeks to provide support to the governments of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru as they explore opportunities for public policies that strengthen water security and the nexus of water, food and energy across Amazonia. <to website> 
  2. Nexus Dialogue on Water Infrastructure Solutions, a global initiative convened by IUCN and IWA on nexus dialogues that is defining a new framework to understand the interconnections between water, energy and food security.  <to website> 

The latter resulted in a publication in April 2015, “The Water-Energy-Food Nexus in Latin America and the Caribbean”, by IWA and IUCN. Click here for the Report [PDF]