As World Water Week moves to conclude its fourth day, it is increasingly apparent that water concerns bring together a wide array of interests from different sectors. Going back to Monday, a high level panel tackled the issue of land acquisitions, or “land grabs”, and food and water security. The Landscapes Blog has explored this topic as well, and how good governance and strong tenure are critical for an integrated landscape approach. While all of the panelist on Monday afternoon’s discussion touched on this topic, Alexander Müller keyed in on the importance of governing these large-scale investments in land and water, citing FAO’s new voluntary guidelines for responsible governance of tenure.
According to Müller, managing the complexities of land and water resources together requires a more integrated approach.
“If we bring water into the picture of large-scale land acquisitions, it makes it much more complex, because then we have to take a landscape approach. Or we have to look at the whole hydrological cycle, because we have to analyze the needs of the basin or of the landscape…especially if we take into account climate change. Climate change is a multiplier of already existing risks, and if we have to deal with adaptation to climate change, water is key.”
He goes on to emphasize the necessity of considering some very difficult transboundary water resource issues, and taking an integrated approach in order to achieve food security in a world of limited water. Finally, three needs related to topics often mentioned on the Landscapes Blog were raised – international agreements made across sectors; multi-stakeholder processes in place at the national level; and monitoring and evaluation systems to track the concerns and impacts related to land acquisitions.