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The WEFE nexus and the climate crisis: Major challenges, great opportunities
Wednesday, 2024/05/29 | 08:12:02

CGIAR May 23 2024


The all-encompassing nature of the climate crisis means that it is deeply connected to water, energy, food, and ecosystems (WEFE). But how can decision makers use these connections to support climate mitigation and adaptation goals and sustainable development initiatives? This was the urgent question at the heart of the latest webinar from the CGIAR Initiative on NEXUS Gains, held on Wednesday May 15, 2024. “This webinar explores the complex relationships between the WEFE nexus and one of the greatest challenges of our time, the climate crisis,” said Sidra Khalid, a National Researcher in Gender and Social Inclusion at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) Pakistan and the webinar’s moderator.

Resource security in the Indus Basin

The first speaker to address this complex topic was Professor Walter Immerzeel, Professor of Mountain Hydrology at Utrecht University, Netherlands. Professor Immerzeel reported on findings from the four-year SustainIndus project, which sought to develop sustainable pathways that help decision makers and practitioners find long-term, climate-smart solutions to provide food, water, and energy to everyone in the Indus Basin.


“The Indus Basin is fascinating for different reasons,” he explained. “Its upper regions have enormous amounts of ice and snow, but its downstream areas are arid. It contains the megacities, hydropower facilities, and the world’s largest irrigation scheme. It is also home to a rapidly growing and urbanizing population, above-average warming, groundwater depletion, and significant socioeconomic changes. All of this makes the Indus an extremely water-stressed basin.”


The considerable challenges facing the Indus Basin demand holistic approaches, Professor Immerzeel stressed. To help address the complexity surrounding holistic decision making, SustainIndus ran multiple projections, showing how a combination of climate change and policy choices – whether to pursue food security, water security, or to continue with business as usual – will affect resource security in the Indus Basin throughout the 21st century. “Trying to achieve water and food targets will be challenging, and will be highly dependent on policy priorities,” he concluded. “Adaptive land-use changes and climate-smart measures are essential for future water and food security.”


See more https://www.cgiar.org/news-events/news/the-wefe-nexus-and-the-climate-crisis-major-challenges-great-opportunities/


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