Sustainable Development in South Asia: Need for Cooperation in Food-Water-Energy Security
Jha, Ram Kumar and Akshat Mishra (March, 2014), “Sustainable Development in South Asia: Need for Cooperation in Food-Water-Energy Security”, CUTS International, Jaipur 302016, India. (ISBN 978-81-8257-212-6)
68 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2015
Date Written: March 3, 2014
Sustainable development in the ambits of food, water and energy is a matter of paramount concern for all the nations throughout the world and specifically for South Asia. South Asia has interminably been facing the brunt of population growth rate and unfavourable variations in climate change have made the situation murkier. Consequently, the basic sectors of human sustenance are grappled under the claws of excessive resources degradation that has raised concerns over the quality of human life and brought the concept of sustainability on the forefront. The intimate link between food, water and energy on very many occasions have been disturbed by variable hydrology of the region combined with high poverty and population density; concentration of regions’ poor on degrading agricultural sector; water dependent subsistence livelihoods; over exploitation of natural resources; and limited intra-regional cooperation and weak institutional capacity. Moreover, the present climate subtleties are most likely to have economic, social, political, environmental and security implications that are still imprecisely understood by this region. The debate on food, water and energy securities and its effects on South Asia have fanned out throughout the world, demanding attention from various national and international organizations to come to its rescue.
The present paper has tried to use the concept of sustainable development in three vital sources human sustenance for addressing the challenges of insecurities and scarcity. Through the intimate linkages between food, water and energy, this paper has tried to explain how repercussions from one sector can affect the other two sectors in an unfavourable way. The paper has laid emphasis on the need for having strong and efficient regional governance frameworks as a key to address these challenges in South Asia. Regional Cooperation has long been viewed as a solution for addressing the scarcity issue in the ambits of food, water and energy. South Asia has been successful to a certain extent in shaping a regional governance framework in relation to food and energy security (SAARC Food Bank, Seed Bank, SAARC Energy Charter) but till date none of the countries have come to a general consensus on framing a regional governance framework for water security. Until and unless a strong regional governance charter is established in South Asia that prudently handles the issues related to food, water and energy securities, it will be nearly impossible to reach the goal of sustainability in these three vital areas of human subsistence.
Keywords: Sustainable Development, South Asia Region
JEL Classification: N01, Q39, Q42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation