The Energy-Food-Water nexus
Application of an integrated analysis approach
FAO is currently working with LIPHE4 on the application of the Multi-Scale Integrated Analysis of Societal and Ecosystem Metabolism (MuSIASEM) as an integrated approach to explore the energy, food/land, water nexus.
The work is organized around the application of the methodology to the assessment of three case studies: Mauritius Island, South Africa and the Punjab region of India. More specifically the applications will be developed to show that:
- by using a ‘systems approach’ it is possible to generate a multi-scale integrated representation associated with finer geographical coverage; simplified data requirements; medium term temporal scope; multi-resource representation including their interlinkages;
- by using a multi-level analysis of societal and ecosystem metabolism, it is possible to assess the Desirability, Viability and Feasibility of different technological options, defining at different levels benchmarks characterizing benefits and disadvantages in relation to these three aspects;
- by generating a multi-scale integrated characterization of development scenarios that can be tailored on the resolution required to assess policy options (at level of a specific province, watershed, nation or other) it becomes possible to generate and validate the usefulness of quantitative analysis to be used for governance.
For each of the case studies considered an integrated system of indicators applicable to the agriculture sector will be developed, tailored on specific issue definitions, capable of characterizing in quantitative terms the performance of the investigated system in relation to an integrated set of criteria associated with energy, food, land and water and their impact on climate.
Moving ahead to implement the Nexus approach: Lessons learned and discussion of next steps regarding integrated assessment of water-energy-food needs in a climate change context
Held at FAO Headquarters on 5-6 March, the workshop addressed strengths and weaknesses of some of the main available nexus tools and approaches to identify what we can build on and what the gaps and challenges are. This was used as the basis to identify what should be the next steps to develop a coherent nexus approach/support package at country level, and related required international coordination nexus mechanisms.