South South forum slide
South South forum slide

Developing countries are making enormous investments to support economic growth, improve living conditions and reduce poverty – including major new water and energy infrastructure. Yet many of these efforts could be undermined by conflicting priorities for the use of limited resources: water for electricity generation, for irrigation or for urban use; land for housing, to grow food or biofuel crops, or to support healthy ecosystems. Climate change is also exacerbating resource scarcity in many places.

As part of the Global South-South Development Expo (GSSD Expo) hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on 28-31 October in Nairobi, Kenya, SEI hosted a forum to explain how a science-based, integrated approach to water, energy and food issues – the “nexus” framework – can help countries find more robust and sustainable solutions to their development needs.

SEI researchers explained the scientific basis for this approach, presented SEI-built tools that facilitate integrated analysis and planning, and described applications of the “nexus” approach in Ethiopia, Colombia, Thailand and other locations.

The programme also included a dialogue with policy-makers to explore how the “nexus” could better support planning and policy development in the Global South, gather feedback and answer practical questions. Our hope was that several new collaborations would emerge from our discussions.


Ambassador Johan Borgstam, Swedish ambassador to Kenya and head of mission to UNEP and UN-Habitat
Dr. Annette Huber-Lee, SEI nexus initiative leader
Dr. Louise Karlberg, SEI research fellow
Dr. Eric Kemp-Benedict, SEI Asia Centre director

Policy panel:
Johan L. Kuylenstierna, SEI executive director (moderator)
Dr. Tsegay Wolde-Georgis, Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency
Dr. Wijarn Simachaya, Thailand Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
Juana Mariño Drews, Alexander von Humboldt Institute, Colombia
Ambassador Shahira Hassan Wahbi, League of Arab States
Dr. Tony Simons, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Kenya
Alfred Njagi, general manager, operations, Kenya Tea Development Agency
Professor M. Japhet Ntiba, principal secretary, Kenya State Department of Fisheries

Closing remarks:

Achim Steiner, executive director, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Download the programme for the Partnership Forum »

Learn more about the Global South-South Development Expo »