The Netherlands and the GCC co-organize event on Water-Energy-Food Nexus at Expo Dubai

On Friday March 18th the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) joined forces in drawing attention to the urge of interconnecting the water, energy, and food sectors through a hybrid event at the World EXPO in Dubai, UAE. The event took place at the Netherlands pavilion at the EXPO, where Nexus has been the central theme for the past half year. 

Netherlands-GCC Nexus event at Expo Dubai

The Netherlands Pavilion at EXPO Dubai is a unique circular construction that consists of a biotope with a circular climate system, in which the sectors of water, energy, and food come together through innovative solutions. That made the pavilion the ideal model for the theme of the conference of March 18th: Nexus, the unification of the sectors water, energy, and food to secure the future of this world in a sustainable manner. 

Throughout the day experts from the Netherlands (Wageningen University & Research, TU Delft, Ministery of Agriculture, Nature & Food Quality, Visser Water Management/Netherlands Water Partnership) as well as from the GCC countries (GCC-SG, Arabian Gulf University, DERASAT) emphasized the importance of an innovative and holistic approach in order to keep feeding the growing world population, while not depleting our scarce fossile resources. Although the matter is a global issue, the urge for action is highest in the regions such as the Gulf Region, where water is extremely scarce and climate is arid. 

The event was a follow-up of a virtual event that the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Gulf Cooperation Council co-organized in June 2021, which was the start of the cooperation on the topic of Nexus. Governments of the Netherlands as well as the GCC support the Nexus approach through their policy strategies and therefore have good ground for cooperation to solve challenges together, among others in the field of climate, ecosystems, and food security. It has been agreed to further exchange ideas during a follow-up event in Riyadh in the second half of 2022. 

Speakers and organizers: Gert-Jan Wilbers (WUR), Steven Visser (Visser Water Management), Samar Kadri (CG Dubai), Prof. Waleed Zubari (Arabian Gulf University), Dr. Muhammed Al-Rashidi (GCC SG), Dr. Mohamed Dawoud (Environment Agency Abu Dhabi), Erik Smidt (Agricultural Counsellor to the Gulf Region), Sophie Hollanders (Embassy Riyadh), Tariq Zaidi (Ministry of Agriculture, Nature, and Food Quality)