The development of a Water-Energy-Food nexus index, and its application to the Southern African Development Community

09:00 Thursday 30 May


Room S7


Gareth Simpson (South Africa) 1

1 - Jones & Wagener

Southern Africa is confronted by serious water, energy and food security challenges. Climate change is likely to exacerbate these difficulties, which will make it more difficult for these countries to meet their developmental objectives. While the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) nexus philosophy is well established, and the need for integrated planning is understood, few tools exist for sustainability data assessment, especially within the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The need for such a tool, linked to the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs), has been expressed by many researchers and development organisations working in this field. For example, in 2015 the United Nations stated that, “Indicators will be the backbone of monitoring progress towards the SDGs at the local, national, regional, and global levels. A sound indicator framework will turn the SDGs and their targets into a management tool to help countries develop implementation strategies and allocate resources accordingly, as well as a report card to measure progress towards sustainable development and help ensure the accountability of all stakeholders for achieving the SDGs.”

This presentation will present the development of a WEF nexus-based indicator framework, dashboard and index for the SADC region that can be used (i) for assessing national progress towards the relevant SDGs, and (ii) to facilitate integrated sustainability planning and policy development for the region. The visualisation of the indicator data will provide a representation of the countries’ and region’s progress towards integrated resource security and the alleviation of livelihood vulnerability, while also highlighting actual or potential trade-offs, and synergies, that exist between these three resource sectors.