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UNFSS Independent Dialogue in Southern Africa: Managing the water and energy we eat: advancing water‐energy-food (WEF) nexus approaches to achieve food systems transformation in Southern Africa

April 13, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Meeting platform: By Zoom and invitation only. Click here to register.

Date and Time: 13/04/2021 | 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm


Join us for an Independent Dialogue convened by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and partners to discuss water-energy-food (WEF) nexus approaches to achieve food systems transformation in Southern Africa. Insights emerging from this regional, multi-stakeholder forum will be presented at the United Nations Food System Summit (UNFSS) in September 2021. Transforming #foodsystems is among the most powerful ways to make progress towards all 17 #SDGS. This dialogue will begin to unpack how food systems can be localized and transformed in a water-constrained region such as Southern Africa in a manner that acknowledges WEF nexus linkages, promotes regional trade and enhances equity and inclusion.

The session is designed to be interactive, allowing for small group discussion, collective brainstorming, and agenda-setting. As the region maps out the road to UNFSS 2021, this Dialogue will focus on the role of water and energy in food systems transformation. Speakers and panelists from across the world and the region will discuss how systems transformation for equitable food and water security in Southern Africa can be achieved.

Everyone working to advance transformative water, energy, and food systems is invited to join this Dialogue.


Dr. Inga Jacobs-Mata (IWMI), Dr. Maike Hamann (CST/GRP)

Meeting Agenda:

The Road to UNFSS2021: Achieving water and food security by Professor Joachim von Braun (Chair of the Scientific Group for the UNFSS).

The Road to UNFSS2021: The role of water in food systems transformation by Dr. Mark Smith (DG, IWMI).

Progress and challenges in achieving SDG 2: Zero Hunger in the region, and implications for water, energy, and food security by a representative from SADC.

Panel discussion on realizing more just systems transformation for food and water security in Southern Africa by panelists from Water Research Commission (WRC) South Africa; Global Water Partnership (GWP); World Bank; private sector; food sovereignty networks in Africa.

Breakout group discussions, feedback from breakout discussions in plenary, and wrap-up of key messages and next steps by all.

Thematic areas of breakout group discussions:

  1. Moving towards low carbon energy for food productionKey question: How can we sustainably produce more food in the region using low greenhouse gas energy sources?
  2. Climate change impacts on water and food securityKey question: How can we sustainably enhance food security without compromising water security in the context of climate change?
  3. Policy coherence and institutional coordination in water, food, energy, and climate change that operationalize the WEF nexus. Key question: What practical steps can/should be taken to ensure policy coherence and institutional coordination to improve water, energy, and food security in the region?
  4. Advancing technical WEF models, tools, and frameworks for decision-making at multiple scales. Key question: How can WEF nexus models/tools facilitate a new understanding of interdependencies and trade-offs in the WEF nexus, as well as foster data sharing and enhanced decision-making in the region?
  5. Putting nature back in the WEF nexus: towards resilient food landscapesKey question: How do we build more resilient food and livelihood systems while protecting critical water sources, biodiversity, and other ecosystem services?
  6. Community approaches to operationalize the WEF nexus. Key question: How can we promote equity and inclusion in WEF nexus governance to create opportunities for transformation towards more just food, water, and energy systems?
  7. Trading in the WEF nexus across scalesKey question: How do we build resilience in interconnected food systems, from local to global scales?

To read more about UNFSS Dialogues, click here.


April 13, 2021
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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