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Water-Food-Energy Nexus


Explain the water–food–energy “nexus” and how its complex interactions affect national water security (inc. access to safe water) national food security (inc. food availability) and national energy security (inc. energy pathways and geopolitical issues)

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Water-Food-Energy Nexus


Explain the water–food–energy “nexus” and how its complex interactions affect national water security (inc. access to safe water) national food security (inc. food availability) and national energy security (inc. energy pathways and geopolitical issues)

Write the words “Water - Food - Energy” on a piece of A4 paper. Use coloured pens to draw links between them, explaining how they are connected by writing on the lines. Share your ideas with a neighbour then discuss as a class.

 

How pressure on resources affects the future security of places

KEY CONCEPT

 
 

The Water-Food-Energy Nexus

The water-food-energy nexus is central to sustainable development. Demand for all three is increasing, driven by a rising global population, rapid urbanisation, changing diets and economic growth.

Agriculture is the largest consumer of the world’s freshwater resources, and more than one-quarter of the energy used globally is expended on food production and supply.

The inextricable linkages between these critical domains require a suitably integrated approach to ensuring water and food security, and sustainable agriculture and energy production worldwide. (Source)

 
 
 
 

CASE STUDY: HINDU KUSH HIMALAYA REGION

The concept of the food, water, and energy nexus is extremely relevant to Asia as the region has to feed two-thirds of the world’s population (4.14 billion people) and accounts for 59% of the planet’s water consumption.

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With just 3% of the world’s land, South Asia has about one-fourth of the world’s population (1.6 billion people). Rice and wheat, the staple foods in the subregion, require huge amounts of water and energy.

Two Kalashi girls overlook the view in Bamburat village during the annual Chilam Joshi festival in the Hindu Kush region (Omer Imran)

Two Kalashi girls overlook the view in Bamburat village during the annual Chilam Joshi festival in the Hindu Kush region (Omer Imran)

Freshwater, once abundant, is under growing stress due to the increased demand for competing uses, and climate change is creating additional uncertainties.

About 20% of the population of South Asia lacks access to safe drinking water. The increase in water stress and water demand raises questions about how to ensure enough water for growing food without losing hydro- power for energy security.

About 1.3 billion people in South Asia rely on freshwater obtained directly or indirectly from the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) mountain systems.

TASK: Outline why a nexus approach to resource management is important for the Hindu Kush region of South Asia

 

CASE STUDY: MALAWI

 
 

PLENARY

With reference to examples, explain the water-food-energy nexus [6 marks]

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Climate Change & the Water-Food-Energy Nexus


Examine the implications of global climate change for the water–food–energy nexus

Climate Change & the Water-Food-Energy Nexus


Examine the implications of global climate change for the water–food–energy nexus

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Stretching over 3500 kilometres and across eight countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, Myanmar and Pakistan – the Hindu Kush Himalaya are arguably the world’s most important ‘water tower’, being the source of ten of Asia’s largest rivers as well as the largest volume of ice and snow outside of the Arctic and Antarctica. Together these rivers support the drinking water, irrigation, energy, industry and sanitation needs of 1.3 billion people living in the mountains and downstream. (Source)

 
 
 

IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON RESOURCE SECURITY IN SOUTH ASIA

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While all agricultural production depends on water, Asian agricultural especially requires large amounts of this resource to produce its most important staple foods – wheat and rice. Any reductions in water availability could therefore have a devastating effect on the region’s food security.

HKH countries already rely heavily on water that originates in the region’s mountains for irrigation. For example, the Indus irrigation system, the world largest contiguous irrigation system, irrigates roughly 76 per cent of the cultivated area in Pakistan, enabling the production of more than 80 per cent of the country’s food grains and cash crops. The Ganges supports approximately 60 per cent of India’s irrigated area and the Brahmaputra supports irrigation in large parts of Bangladesh, Bhutan and India. (Source)

 
 

SYNTHESIS

Write an essay response to the following question:

“The impacts of global climate change on the water-food-energy nexus will be felt similarly everywhere”. Discuss this statement with reference to at least two named countries at different levels of economic development. [10 marks]

 
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Disposal & Recycling of Waste


Examine the disposal and recycling of consumer items, including international flows of waste

Disposal & Recycling of Waste


Examine the disposal and recycling of consumer items, including international flows of waste

Economic development increases disposable incomes leading to increased consumption of consumer goods and the production of waste. There is a close relationship between economic development and the amount of waste produced (see map).

What can be done to respond to this problem? Discuss in groups and list your answers.

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DISPOSAL BY LANDFILL

RECOVERY THROUGH INCINERATION

 
 

INTERNATIONAL FLOWS OF WASTE

Map showing hazardous and other waste production by country as reported to the Basel Convention

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was adopted on 22 March 1989 by the Conference of Plenipotentiaries in Basel, Switzerland, in response to a public outcry following the discovery, in the 1980s, in Africa and other parts of the developing world of deposits of toxic wastes imported from abroad.

 
 

Despite improved controls on the international movements of waste, some examples still exist.

SHIP BREAKING IN BANGLADESH

E-WASTE IN AGBOGBLOSHIE, GHANA

Watch the videos above and note the environmental problems associated with international waste disposal.

 
 

CHINA BANS PLASTIC IMPORTS