Energy-water-food nexus would benefit from education initiatives

Posted on 16 October 2013

“We are fiddling, whilst Rome is burning” said Jason Drew, CEO of AgriProtein, in discussing the sustainability of the energy-water-food nexus.

Drew, whose company feeds biological waste to fly larvae to produce a sustainable source of protein for use in industrial agricultural processes, said “the industrial revolution is over and the sustainable revolution has begun,” suggesting that the key to sustainable development is in “reinventing the wheel, copying mother-nature.” Drew insisted that adapting human behavior is fundamental to creating an environment conducive to solving sustainability issues.

That view was endorsed by Brian Statham, Chairman of South Africa’s SANEA, who said that “If you don’t have an inherent understanding of the problem and why change is needed, then no amount of regulation is going to help it.”

Thani Al-Zeyoudi, Director of the Emirati Directorate of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), recounted a successful education scheme implemented in the UAE. “We launched a campaign called Hero in our schools and it was a huge success” with children learning about energy issues and pressing their parents to use less energy and water at home. Statham commented that “We need to make sure the whole value of resources is embedded in the education system, but in a fun way. It goes to the essence of education. Good education is always fun.” “It’s simple,” added Drew, “We’re in a race between education and disaster, if we engage the youth we will win this battle.”

 

This news story is based on the session Game Changer, “Energy-water-food nexus”, at the 2013 World Energy Congress.