Bassel Daher, Ph.D.

Water, energy and food are vital resources for human well-being, poverty reduction, and sustainable development. Demand for these resources is projected to increase due to population growth and will be affected by economic development, international trade, urbanization, diversifying diets, cultural and technological changes, climate variability, and migration trends. These current societal megatrends, coupled with environmental, technological, economic, and demographic changes, continue to pressure already scarce or depleted natural resources: threatening their sustainability and undermining community resilience. Human migration in its various forms has taken place at all times and for various reasons. It is triggered by economic, political and security causes and natural or anthropogenic disasters, which are likely to destabilize both sustainability and human development factors such as water, energy and food security. Since human beings live in such an uncertain world, they try to develop formally or informally determined structures to control their environment, shape behaviors and govern rules. Water and energy distribution, food security, and different types of migratory movements and their interconnections with the nexus, are to a large extent regulated by official legislation, rules and norms at some form of formal institution at the national, regional or local level. However, informal institutions also play a key role in decentralized resource governance. To understand informal institutional capacity in the context of managing WEF resources under migratory pressures the paper focuses on the existing coordination gap among cross-sectoral formal institutions, which highlights the key role that informal institutions can play. This is discussed in the context of different cases from developing and developed countries while highlighting the importance of informal institutions in resource management under strong migratory pressures.

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