A unique trilateral Water-Food-Energy Summit held in Dubai concluded with a statement issued by UAE, Jordan and the Netherlands urging greater intergovernmental action to tackle the pressing issues of the planet’s water, food and energy resources.
The statement affirms their respective commitments to supporting a nexus approach that optimizes resource use. The declaration also calls on other governments to join in acknowledging the interdependent relationships between water, food, and energy. It encourages governments to create practical and innovative solutions to water, food, and energy challenges and to incorporate these developments into policy-making. The statement urges acceleration of progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The ministers of the three countries expressed their hope that the summit would serve as a springboard for more collective efforts in international fora to boost the Water Food Energy nexus approach.
Liesje Schreinemacher, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, said: “Around the world, we face enormous challenges when it comes to water, energy, and food: rising water levels, or not having enough water, extreme weather due to climate change, and food scarcity. These issues affect all countries, so we must look for solutions together.”
The three countries that led the Summit joined world leaders, academics as well as private sector leaders with the goal of pushing for technological solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.
The Dutch minister added: “The UAE and Jordan are facing water scarcity and are looking for smart solutions to this problem. That is an area of expertise the Netherlands and Dutch companies are known for”.
Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, on the other hand, underlined how far behind the world is in terms of meeting the UN’s SDGs and how the COVID-19 pandemic has further hindered international efforts.
Jordan reiterated its appeal to the agriculture sector. It continues to educate farmers in the practice of “climate smart” agriculture and continues installation of water harvesting devices in the desert.
Dr Saleh Al-Kharabsheh, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources of Jordan, said: ““In the coming decades, the world will need increasing amounts of resources. Population growth, resource-intensive lifestyles, and the damaging effects of climate change will lead to water, energy, and food insecurity across the globe.”