UNFSS Independent Dialogue in Southern Africa


April 13, 2021    
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm


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

Meeting platform: Zoom (Click here to register), By invitation only

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 to 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 panellists from across the world and the region will discuss how systems transformation for equitable food and water security in Southern Africa can be achieved.

We invite everyone working to advance transformative water, energy and food systems to join this Dialogue.

Curators: Dr Inga Jacobs-Mata (IWMI) / Dr Maike Hamann (CST/GRP)

The Road to UNFSS2021: Achieving water and food security Prof Joachim von Braun (Chair of the Scientific Group for the UNFSS)
The Road to UNFSS2021: The role of water in food systems transformation 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 Representative from SADC
Panel discussion: realising more just systems transformation for food and water security in Southern Africa Panellists 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
Wrap-up of key messages and next steps

Thematic areas of breakout group discussions:

  1. Moving towards low carbon energy for food production
    Key question: How can we sustainably produce more food in the region using low greenhouse gas energy sources?
  1. Climate change impacts on water and food security
    Key question: How can we sustainably enhance food security without compromising water security in the context of climate change??
  1. 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?
  1. Advancing technical WEF models, tools and frameworks for decision making at multiple scales
    Key question: How can WEF nexus models/tools facilitate new understanding of interdependencies and trade-offs in the WEF nexus, as well as foster data sharing and enhanced decision-making in the region?
  1. Putting nature back in the WEF nexus: towards resilient food landscapes
    Key question: How do we build more resilient food and livelihood systems while protecting critical water sources, biodiversity, and other ecosystem services?
  1. Community approaches to operationalise 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?
  1. Trading in the WEF nexus across scales
    Key question: How do we build resilience in interconnected food systems, from local to global scales?


    About the UNFSS Dialogues

    The Food Systems Summit Dialogues are an approach for enabling systematic, inclusive opportunities for stakeholders to be engaged in food systems. The approach enables participants to contribute to the 2021 Food Systems Summit by building on efforts already underway, working together on pathways that lead to sustainable food systems, and setting out intentions and commitments in the run up to the Summit. These Dialogues contribute to shaping the pathways which will lead to equitable and sustainable food systems by 2030. They will also be valuable to the different work streams preparing for the Food Systems Summit: the Action Tracks, Scientific Groups and Champions as well as for other Dialogues.

    The Dialogues are moments for: engaging actors in the food systems approach, in unusual ways; enabling them to explore ideas together; encouraging creativity, emphasising equity; emerging more powerfully through connections; elaborating pathways, intentions and commitments together.

    The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and global and regional partners have committed to host a series of multi-stakeholder dialogues that emphasise water’s transformative role in food systems. The objective is to bring the discussion on food and water systems in a changing climate to the global policy level and to provide tangible inputs into the discussion of the UNFSS.