Environment

Exploring opportunities to achieving water-food-energy-ecosystems Nexus in Western Balkans

UNECE NEXUS solutions

Photo: GWP-Med

Published

May 28, 2021

Comments

0

Share

Published:

May 28, 2021

Comments:

0

Share

Integrated management of water, energy, and land resources, while protecting ecosystems, remains a substantial challenge in the Western Balkans though the countries share sectoral as well as cross-cutting agendas (e.g., on water end environment, energy transition, waste management, connectivity, mobility).

The Water-Food-Energy-Ecosystems Nexus approach offers solutions that can reconcile potentially conflicting interests as they compete for the same scarce resources while capturing existing opportunities and exploring emerging ones. When successfully applied, Nexus solutions can lead to the enhancement of water, energy, and food security, while preserving ecosystems and their functions, importantly also in transboundary river basins, says a report by Global Water Partnership – Mediterranean.
A range of cross-sectoral solutions, from infrastructure to integrated strategic planning frameworks, to address resource management tradeoffs were discussed at the meeting “Nexus Solutions and Investments in the Western Balkans”, co-organized by UNECE, Global Water Partnership  Mediterranean (GWP-Med), and the European Investment Bank (EIB).
Some 50 participants analyzed enabling conditions for impactful Nexus investments and explored the participatory identification of concrete Nexus applications in the Drin and Drina River Basins.
According to the report  “Solutions and investments in the water-food-energy-ecosystems nexus: a synthesis of experiences in transboundary basins” presented by UNECE at the opening, transboundary cooperation ranks very high as a factor of success in the implementation of Nexus solutions, along with shared data and information, increased awareness of options and benefits for cross-sector, transboundary trade-offs, compromise and synergies, and innovative infrastructure operating rules.
River basin organizations can play a key role in facilitating a cross-sectoral dialogue that is needed to develop water investments and to develop “nexus-proofed” master plans.
Concrete opportunities for cross-sectoral action in different fields were highlighted, including sediment and erosion control, renewable energy integration, agricultural policy, information, and data management for planning and forecasting.
The fact that countries in the Western Balkans share sectoral as well as cross-cutting agendas (e.g., on water end environment, energy transition, waste management, connectivity, mobility) offers a great opportunity to leverage synergies across sectors at the regional level. These efforts need to be scaled up to tackle region-wide issues such as decarbonization and environmental degradation.
The World Bank shared experience of implementing a cross-sectoral, transboundary program in the Sava and Drina basins, and the EIB facilitated a series of interventions from international organizations about strategic agendas for sustainable development (Green Agenda for the Western Balkans, for which an action plan is coordinated by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), the EU Danube Strategy, the Water Agenda of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM)), the experience of developing cross-sectoral National Adaptation Plans for climate change (in Serbia), and opportunities to complement with nexus action at transboundary level water cooperation (Global Environment Facility International Waters program ).
The SEE Nexus Project (“Promoting the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources in Southeastern Europe, through the use of the Nexus Approach”) is funded by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and is being implemented by Global Water Partnership-Mediterranean (GWP-Med) in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
Comments (0)

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Enter Your Comment
Please wait... Please fill in the required fields. There seems to be an error, please refresh the page and try again. Your comment has been sent.

Related Articles

Serbia green bond transport water wastewater

Serbia spends most of green bond proceeds in transport, water, wastewater sectors

27 January 2024 - Serbia has allocated all the funds from its first green bond issue, according to the final report. The transport sector accounted for 36.7%.

WISE Serbia network of women in sustainable energy

#BeWISE – join WISE Serbia network of women in sustainable energy

29 June 2023 - WISE Serbia, the network of women in sustainable energy, has announced a call for new members under the slogan #BeWise, encouraging all interested women - professionals and students alike - to apply and join in

Endangered vultures more important than wind farm project in Greek mountains

Endangered vultures more important than wind farm project in Greek mountains

24 March 2023 - The competent institutions opted for the conservation of bird habitats and gave a negative opinion on the wind farm project

World Water Day 2023: accessible and safe water for all

World Water Day 2023: accessible and safe water for all

21 March 2023 - World Water Day is celebrated on March 22, and the focus this year is on the global water and sanitary crisis