Access to and utilisation of water, land and energy for everyone is important to meet basic needs and avoid conflicts. Equal access and use rights to natural resources, especially for marginalised and vulnerable population groups, are thus indispensable for an inclusive and sustainable development in the partner countries of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).

Global trends, such as population growth, changed consumer habits or climate change, increase the pressure on already scare natural resources. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates that agricultural production must increase by 70 percent before 2050 in order to meet future global demand. Humankind will need 40 percent more energy as early as 2030. Globally, more than 40 percent of all people are currently affected by water shortages. Demand for land is escalating, posing problems regarding equal access and utilisation. In the spirit of the Sustainable Development Goals, ADA seeks to protect sensitive ecosystems, conserve natural resources and contribute to climate protection through sustainable agricultural production and environment-friendly measures in energy as well as water and wastewater management.

Water supply and sanitation, renewable energy and rural development for food security are therefore major priorities areas of ADA. These fields of activity are closely interlinked (water-energy-food security nexus). This means, that future approaches and development measures must take due account of the interrelations, synergies and possible trade-offs in these sectors. The application of a nexus approach at strategy, programme and project level, enables sustainable solutions and contributes to better results in terms of the SDGs.