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FAO Addresses Food-Water-Energy Nexus

FAO26 May 2014: The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has published a concept note on understanding and managing the complex interactions between food, water and energy. Building on the concept of the water-energy-food nexus, the note proposes the “nexus approach” as a framework to construct better interventions through identification of trade-offs, synergies and drivers across sectors.

The note describes the added-value of the cross-sectoral dynamic perspective provided by the nexus approach, illustrated using examples of groundwater pumping and the green revolution in China, India, and Pakistan. It explains that, while the nexus approach is compatible with integrated water resources management (IWRM) and other resource management models, it attempts to avoid the conflict that can arise from single sector approaches by considering land, water, and energy equally.

The note, titled ‘The Water-Energy-Food Nexus at FAO,' describes how the approach fits into both the broader sustainability debate and FAO's vision for harnessing sustainable food and agriculture to eradicate hunger, reduce poverty and sustainably manage natural resources. Finally, the note identifies data and analysis, scenario development, and response options as three working areas to be addressed within a broader process of stakeholder dialogue.

FAO released the note at the international conference, ‘Sustainability in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus,' held in Bonn, Germany from 19-20 May 2014. [Publication: The Water-Energy-Food Nexus at FAO] [Conference on the Sustainability in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus]