WEF Nexus Meeting, 2018

Seeking Synergies to Achieve an Optimal Water-Energy-Food Security for ALL

— International Meeting On WEF Nexus in Southeast Asia Held in Laos

Over the past decades, climate patterns have noticeably changed, leading to more frequent floods and severe droughts that devastate crops, affected fisheries and altered ecosystem services. Farmers, ranchers and fish farmers have responded to the intertwined issues of climate change and water and energy trade-offs by altering their land use strategies, which have in turn altered the water cycle with feedback to water cycle and thus food production systems.

Intended for flood control and irrigation for drought mitigation as well as hydro power generation, more and more dams have been built in the Mekong River Basin (MRB), bringing unintended consequences on fisheries resources, basin-wide the ecosystem functions, water quality, sediment and nutrient flow and the livelihoods of local communities. How could one address these complex issues of the water-energy-food (WEF) systems? An International Meeting on Land Cover/Land Use Changes and Water Energy Food (WEF) Nexus in Southeast Asia was held to seek solutions, in Vientiane, Laos on August 11-17th, 2018.

The meeting attracted over 100 participants from 13 countries, representing research institutions, government agencies, regional committee and international programs. The objectives of this meeting were to seek solutions to the WEF nexus issues in the Lower Mekong River Basin – synergy for win-win scenarios, present the latest scientific advances WEF nexus approaches land use and land cover change dynamic, bioenergy and climate change and promote regional collaborations and capacity building in the region.

Dr. Phouangpalisack Pavongviengkham, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Laos

Dr. Phouangpalisack Pavongviengkham, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Laos

Photo: Dr. Phouangpalisack Pavongviengkham, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Laos

The meeting is a joint effort of a research projects at Michigan State University funded by NASA IDS and LCLUC Programs, the MAIRS- Future Earth, Global Land Programme North America Nodal Office, GOFC-GOLD MekRIN, Future Earth’s Nexus KAN, Asia Hub Initiative of Nanjing Agriculture University. These programs, organization and institutions joined hands to holistically address the emerging water-energy-food security issues in th MRB and seek synergies to develop sustainable pathways for all communities, sectors and nations.

The WEF research community is dedicated to improve our understanding of the interactive nature of the water, energy and food systems, and to co-develop solutions to achieve multi Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through joint efforts with local scientists, stakeholders and policy makers.

For more information, contact Professor Jiaguo Qi, one of the meeting organizers at Michigan State University at qi@msu.edu or the Executive Director, Wei Wan of the MAIRS-FE International Project Office at wei.wan@pku.edu.cn.