UKZN Academic Attends SADC Multi-Stakeholder Water Dialogue
Senior Lecturer in the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences Dr Mark Dent was part of the South African delegation to the 6th Southern African Development Community (SADC) Multi-Stakeholder Water Dialogue in Lusaka, Zambia.
His invitation came in recognition of his widely syndicated Leadership Letters on the food/energy/water nexus and on integrated catchment management. Dent’s presentation introduced a Plenary Panel Discussion on the topic: “Deepening the Understanding of the Nexus Approach”.
The session dialogue was facilitated by Dr Hastings Chikoko, the CEO of C40 Cities Southern Africa.
Dent highlighted the fact that the nexus was a most important approach for integration in SADC. He illustrated new ways of engaging the challenges and highlighted the opportunity posed to SADC by the Nile Basin Initiative which has gained significant traction in the past five years following the UNEP-DHI engagement and their modelling, data base and information synergies.
Dent also stressed that the DRC and Tanzania, which are an integral part of the Nile Basin Initiative and also of SADC, offered an opportunity for a practical connection and a learning pathway.
Many speakers present emphasised the fact that biodiversity needed to be included in the nexus and also pointed out that ecosystems formed the very basis for food, water and energy systems. An excellent presentation on the local level application food/water/energy nexus Interactions in the eThekwini Municipality, was delivered by UKZN’s Professor Chris Buckley.
Dr Nick Tandi, Manager at the NEPAD office of the South African Water Partnership Network, presented most informatively on how large entities in government, business and civil society in southern Africa were taking nexus lessons and connecting them across a range of initiatives at various scales, under the oversight of the Department of Water Affairs.
‘It is clear that the South African Water Partnership Network sees the nexus as key to reducing systemic risk and increasing regional integration in a range of matters that have systemic impacts beyond the core of the nexus,’ said Dent.
- Mark Dent