PRESS STATEMENT Stockholm August 26th 2011 PDF Print E-mail

Stockholm August 26th 2011

Water, Energy and Food Nexus Needed for Efficient Green Economy

Arising from the 2011 World Water Week in Stockholm, over 2,600 politicians, business leaders, international organisations, scientists, mayors and water professionals Friday supported the call for a resource efficient green economy based on harnessing the nexus between water, energy and food security. In a statement to the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro also known as Rio + 20 Summit, the participants noted that the three issues must be addressed in an integrated, holistic manner that values the natural environment, and recognizes the carrying capacity of the planet.

The annual Stockholm World Water Week from the 21st to the 26th August under the theme “Responding to Global Changes: Water in an Urbanising World” noted that action is critical at all levels to address inequities, especially for the ‘bottom billion’ who live in slums and impoverished rural areas who continue to live without access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, sufficient food and energy services. Nigeria’s Minister of Water Resources, Sarah Reng Ochekpe who addressed the closing plenary of the water week conference acknowledged that rapid urbanisation has continued to challenge the way public service delivery is provided especially access to water for drinking, sanitation, agriculture, and hydro power. Speaking on behalf of the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) where Nigeria serves on the Executive Committee, Mrs Ochekpe called for innovative approaches for addressing existing limitations such as community-managed public selling points like standpipes and water kiosks, involvement of marginalized groups, and also recognising the complimentary role of the private sector investors and small scale suppliers. According to her “all hands must be on deck, government, development partners, private sector and other non-state actors while dynamic policies and the right environment must be created to make this happen.”

In the mind of the participants, over and above achieving the Millennium Development Goals, is the need for local and national governments and major groups going to the Rio+20 Summit to commit to achieving a 20% increase by 2020 in the following areas: total food supply-chain efficiency aimed at reducing losses and waste from field to fork; water efficiency in agriculture; water use efficiency in energy production; and quantity of water, and also a 20% reduction in water pollution.

Governments were therefore called to commit to sufficient investments in safe drinking water and sanitation services and hygiene education for its people and to ensure that economic and social incentives are created to promote water use efficiency and protect freshwater ecosystems.


Oseloka Zikora


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