Knowledge leads the way to action. Science provides the basis for new and sustainable solutions to meet the challenges of water usage, management and degraded ecosystems. Researchers and academic institutions should use evidence-based data to highlight how innovative approaches, technologies and investments can accelerate needed change and agrifood transformation in both land and water systems.
In research, water issues must be integrated into three dimensions - social, economic and environmental - of sustainable development, with a focus on synergies of the Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystem nexus. Through scientific research, academia can demonstrate how policies for one dimension may impact other dimensions because of the interconnected nature of our ecosystems. We need to develop integrated and holistic solutions to balance competing demands and reduce trade-offs.
Scientists have an important part to play in informing agriculture and water policies, advising government policy and decision-making processes and observing commitments made by governments and businesses. That includes sharing solution-driven data to make agrifood and aquatic food systems more sustainable, as well as the people who work along the various stages more resilient to water-related shocks.
There is greater strength in working together and pooling resources. FAO actively collaborates with higher education and research institutions to mobilize knowledge and innovations, strengthen capacities, provide evidence-based solutions to policy processes and share its own experience from the ground with the academic community. Contact us to find out more.