Environment in emerging and transition economies

New Perspectives on the Water-Energy-Food Nexus in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA)


Lunch discussion:

27 November 2014, 13:00 - 14:30 *

OECD Headquarters, Room D 

Participation was free of charge, but by invitation and advance registration only. Should you like to be informed about upcoming events and news related to the EAP Task Force's work on water in the EECCA region, please register your interest with us by e-mail: [email protected] 


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In most countries of Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA), achieving food, water, and energy security is a key policy objective.

Some have included this objective in their National Development Strategies and other top level strategic documents. However, they face a number of major challenges in achieving this objective, including:

  • weak governance systems,
  • limited awareness,
  • distortions from perverse subsidies, and
  • unsustainable investments resulting in a sub-optimal allocation of resources.

Recognising interdependencies between water, energy and food is an important first step in addressing this issue. For example, energy subsidies as well as decisions on the type of energy generation can significantly influence water demand; the way water is sourced, treated, priced and distributed can raise or lower energy requirements; and the choices made on food and diet influence both water and energy needs.



The lunch discussion during the OECD Global Forum on Environment explored the possibility for a reinforced nexus-oriented approach to water management in the EECCA region.

Finding better ways to address the trade-offs between competing uses of water while taking stock of environmental and social considerations could bring economic benefits through more efficient utilisation of resources, productivity gains and reduced waste. Equally, the consequences of inaction could become increasingly severe on people’s welfare and wellbeing, economic growth, jobs, and the environment.

Specific objectives of the discussion were to:

  • Take stock of ongoing work on the water, energy, and food nexus in EECCA countries, including existing approaches, lessons learnt, and remaining challenges.
  • Identify possible short- and medium-term priority issues that could be the subject of country policy dialogue. 
  • Assess the needs and opportunities for cooperation at national and regional level.

Format of the discussion 


-   Mr. Brendan Gillespie, Head, Environmental Performance and Information Division, Environment Directorate, OECD


-   Mr. Gheorghe Constantin, General Director, Water Department, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Romania

-   Mr. Sulton Rakhimzoda, First Deputy Minister, Ministry of Energy and Water Resources, Tajikistan

-   Mr. Yerlan Nyssanbaev, Vice-Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, Kazakhstan

-   Ms. Marina Makarova, Head, Water Resources Management Service, Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources Protection, Georgia

The introductory statements by the moderator and the speakers were followed by an open discussion with participation from the floor. Simultaneous interpretation in English and Russian was provided.



The event was organised by the OECD and the UNECE as strategic partners of the European Union Water Initiative (EUWI) in the EECCA region. The Initiative helps EECCA countries to improve their water policies through National Policy Dialogues (NPDs) which are platforms where key stakeholders meet to discuss and advance policy reform. The NPDs are supported by robust analytical work and international good practice. The NPDs also aim to improve coordination among the EECCA and donor countries to support the delivery of improved water management. Read more about the EU Water Initiative in EECCA and the National Policy Dialogues on water

* The lunch discusssion took place as part of the OECD Global Forum on Environment which brought together international experts from member and non-member economies to share experiences and explore common policy issues. The Forum gathered a broad range of senior policy experts, private sector leaders and financiers in the water, energy and food sectors to debate and discuss how water, food and energy securities compete on the ground; and explore how countries can overcome the challenges in balancing different and growing needs. Find out more about this year's Global Forum on Environment


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