Concepts, tools/methods, and practices of water-energy-food NEXUS
Abstract:The needs to consider the NEXUS on food and water were emphasized in international dialogues and publications around the end of the 20th century. In fact, in 1983, the United Nations University already launched a Food-Energy Nexus Programme to fill the gaps between the issues of food and energy. The term “NEXUS” to link water, food, and trade was also used in the World Bank during 1990s. The idea of NEXUS is likely to have further developed under the discussion of “virtual water” and “water footprints”. With experiencing several international discussions such as Kyoto World Water Forum 2003, scholars and practitioners around the globe acknowledged the need to include energy for the pillars of NEXUS. Finally, the importance of three NEXUS pillars, “water, energy, and food” was officially announced in the BONN 2011 NEXUS Conference, which is a turning point of NEXUS idea in the international community , in order to contribute to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in 2012 that highlighted the concept of “green economy”.
The concept of NEXUS is becoming a requisite to achieve sustainable development due to the global concerns embedded in society, economy, and environment. The concept stresses to promote the cooperation with the sectors such as water, energy, food, and climate change since these complex global issues are dependent and inter-connected, which can no longer be solved by the sectorial approaches. The NEXUS practices are currently shared among different stakeholders through various modes including literatures, conferences, workshops, and research projects. However, since the NEXUS practices are not led by a particular organization, its concept, theory, policy, tools, methods, and applications are diverse and incoherent. In terms of tools/methods, the potential of integrated modeling approach is introduced to avoid pressures and to promote interactions among water, energy and food.