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By: Kairos dela Cruz

1st of a series on Water, Energy, and Food Nexus

17 March, Bangkok — Today is the first day of the Nexus Dialogue on Infrastructure Solutions for Water, Energy, and Food at the UN Convention Center.

I was invited to participate in the conference so I can share iCSC’s insights on “nexus” policies.

I had a big smile on when I entered the center. The event was abbreviated as the “WEF Nexus Dialogue”. I found this funny. In the Philippines, I mused, a better articulation of a nexus for WEF might be “FEW”.1-IMG_8770

What exactly is a “nexus”? According to Mr. Google, it is a connection or series of connections linking two or more things.  To be explicit about this, the event I’m attending will discuss the many connections between water, energy, and food infrastructures.

Are there really connections? The obvious answer seems to be a yes. Yet you have to wonder why the current planning process in the Philippines is so confined to discussing extremely closely linked cross-sectoral challenges in silos — as if the sectors are fundamentally separate?

I’m eager to tease out the connections beyond the nexus elements identified by WEF, such as climate change and land use.

I’m confident that I’ll have my answers as well as questions when this is over. With representatives from the Mekong region, international planning experts, engineers, civil society members, and a philosopher, I think I’m all set for a good mix.

Organized by the International Union for Conservation Nature (IUCN), International Water Asssociaton (IWA), and United Nations- Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP), the workshop will run for three days.

Ten minutes into the event I’m sure that it won’t be the typical talk-coffee-talk-lunch-talk-coffee-talk event. I think it’s time to roll-up my sleeves, take a deep breath, and make the FEW connections work for WEF.