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Stakeholder consultation

WEFE nexus framework: From concept to implementation


Gilgit, Pakistan

Date & Time

17 June 2022 to 18 June 2022


Arun Bhakta Shrestha

Organizer: Soni Jawari Center for Public Policy (SJCPP), Gilgit, WWF-Pakistan and Karakoram International University (KIU), International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development


About the workshop

ICIMOD has developed a conceptual framework for the Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystem (WEFE) nexus for the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region. Based on this framework, we recently conducted a comprehensive study titled “Understanding socioeconomic and ecological dimensions of the WEFE nexus for integrating transboundary river basin and landscape perspectives in the Upper Indus Basin, Pakistan”. Preliminary study findings were also shared with partners and stakeholders in a workshop in December 2021.

This consultation workshop will further discuss the study findings, focusing on inter-sectoral synergies and trade-offs, with a larger group of experts, partners, and stakeholders from the Upper Indus Basin (UIB). ICIMOD, under its Indus Basin and Hindu Kush Karakoram Pamir Landscape (HKPL) initiatives plans to develop and pilot a nexus operational model in the UIB area. The workshop will also help identify nexus issues and challenges, options, and opportunities, and invite suggestions on the solutions and operational model for piloting the WEFE nexus in UIB and HKPL region.

Experiences and learnings from UIB, Koshi River basin, and the HKPL will be used to further refine the evolving framework. Barriers such as policy issues and challenges in implementation, and the strategies adopted to overcome these, will be key lessons for sharing and dissemination.



The Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystem (WEFE) nexus is an emerging concept and a policy approach used to manage trade-offs and synergies in food, agriculture, water, energy, and environment, and ecosystem sectors. The WEFE nexus approach aims to ensure sustainable use of natural resources, improve resource use efficiency, and increase equitable access to resources, particularly for poor and marginalised groups. The WEFE nexus approach is beneficial for mitigating and adapting to the adverse impacts of climate change and therefore needs to be mainstreamed into policy, planning, and practice.

The WEFE nexus also has great relevance for river basin and landscape governance in the HKH. Seven out of the ten major river basins that originate in the HKH flow across international borders. Divergent resource use regimes across these transboundary river basins and landscapes increase competition for shared resources and lead to disagreements and conflicts.



  • Highlight key findings and relevance of the study with experts, partners, and stakeholders
  • Identify and develop shared understanding of the nexus issues and challenges, opportunities, and solutions for WEFE piloting
  • Explore the operational model and identify key sectors, resources, partners, and stakeholders, and enlist their priorities, potential linkages, synergies, trade-offs, and governance systems


Expected outputs

  • Draft an operational plan for WEFE nexus piloting in the UIB
  • Suggestions and inputs on WEFE nexus framework, partners, and implementation approaches
  • Inputs for issue briefs and knowledge products



Moderator: ICIMOD and SJCPP


Time Programme Speakers
9:00–9:25 Registration
9:25–9:30 Tilawat Kalam-e-Pak
9:30–9:35 Welcome remarks – WWF-Pakistan WWF-Pakistan
9:35–9:40 Opening remarks – Karakoram International University VC, KIU
9:40–9:45 Workshop background and objectives, Babar Khan, Senior Ecosystem Management Specialist, ICIMOD
9:45–10:00 WEFE nexus – An integrated planning and policy approach, Izhar Hunzai, Head, SJCPP
10:00–10:15 Upper Indus Basin: Issues, challenges, and opportunities for the WEFE nexus Arun Shrestha, Regional Programme Manager – River Basins and Cryosphere ICIMOD
10:15–10:25 Discussion, feedback, Q/A Ghulam Ali, Programme Coordinator – HKPL, ICIMOD
10:25–10:50 Group photo and tea break
10:50–12:10 Group work (ICIMOD team will be part of these groups) Identify main sectors, resources, and stakeholders

Map possible synergies and trade-offs across water, energy, food and ecosystems

Moderator: Abid Hussain, ICIMOD
12:10–12:50 Group work presentation and discussion (Q/A)
13:00–14:30 Friday Prayer and Lunch Break
14:30–15:40 Group work (ICIMOD team will be part of these groups)

Given the existing and anticipated nexus issues, opportunities and possible solutions, propose an operational model

While maximizing synergies and minimising trade-offs assess the likely feasibility of implementation of model (identify risks and pitfalls in the model)

Possible modality on implementing the pilot model (structure, processes, goals and resources)

Moderator: Babar Khan, Senior Ecosystem Management Specialist, ICIMOD
15:40–16:20 Group work presentation and discussion (Q/A) (With working tea)
16:20–16:45 Guest remarks
16:45–16:55 Conclusion and way forward KIU and Ghulam Ali, ICIMOD
16:55–17:00 Vote of thanks WWF-Pakistan

Time Programme Speakers
Session I: (SJCPP, WWF-Pakistan, KIU, ICIMOD and other key individuals from relevant organisations)
10:00–10:10 Intended objectives and outline of the two sessions of the day
10:10–10:30 Overview of the day-I discussions and group work findings
10:30–13:00 Synthesizing discussions and findings and developing a skeletal framework of the WEFE nexus operational model for piloting
13:00–15:00 Break
Session II: (Key WEFE sector specific partners and senior government officials)
15:00–15:15 Welcome remarks WWF-Pakistan
15:15–15:30 Opening remarks and overview of the previous day SJCPP
15:30–16:00 Presenting the WEFE nexus operational model skeleton prepared based on Day 1 discussion Babar Khan, ICIMOD
16:00–17:00 Plenary discussion on the model Babar Khan & Abid Hussain, Senior Economist and Food Systems Specialist, ICIMOD
17:00–17:30 Guest remarks
17:30–17:45 Conclusion and way forward SJCPP
17:45–17:50 Vote of thanks Muhammad Ismail, Ecosystem Specialist, ICIMOD
18:00 Dinner