A three-day consultation began yesterday in Thimphu to develop an integrated and collaborative approach to address issues concerning the water-energy-food (WEF) nexus as a basis for sustainable agriculture for the region.

The meeting is organised by the ministry of agriculture together with the SAARC Agriculture Centre, SAARC Energy Centre and International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development.

It aims to find collective solutions to address the impacts caused by growing population, climate change, economic growth, growing inequalities and declining agricultural land on WEF nexus as basis for sustainable agriculture in the region.

Agriculture secretary Rinzin Dorji said the meeting is timely because water has globally become a precious resource and the region is working on the fulfillment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and formulating strategies to meet the goals.

Deputy Director at the SAARC Energy Centre Dr Shoiab Ahmed said that regional countries are at different level or stage in addressing the issues of WEF nexus but at the regional level there is no integrated approach to resolve the issues. He said that WEF nexus issues are not limited to a particular country and its impact has regional implications.

Delegates from respective SAARC member countries presented their experiences and knowledge on WEF nexus implied as a method to sustainable agriculture. They also presented the challenges and achievements of strategies applied at in their countries.

The three days consultation meeting will discuss renewable energy in WEF nexus in south Asia, gender, education and climate change, regional cooperation for WEF nexus security and hold leadership panel on science policy dialogue.