Today we are more than convinced that amplified interconnectedness of global food, energy, water security and environmental sustainability exists. This calls for joint global responsibility and cooperation among scientists and policy makers to mediate tradeoffs and explore synergies. It has been recognized that efforts to address only one part of a systemic problem by neglecting other inherently inter-linked aspects may not lead to desirable and sustainable outcomes. In this perspective, policy- and decision-making requires a nexus approach that reduces tradeoffs and builds synergies across sectors, and helps to reduce costs and increase benefits for humans and nature compared to independent approaches to the management of water, energy, food and the environment.
The conference "Sustainability in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus. Synergies and Tradeoffs: Governance and Tools at various Scales" to be held on 19-20 May, 2014 in Bonn, Germany addresses the linkages across key natural resource sectors, so that jointly improving efficiency is considered to be a win-win strategy for human development and environmental sustainability.
Recognizing the sustainability of the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus as a key research-for-action initiative, the conference will allow an internal policy consultation process to inform, influence, and catalyze action by key actors— including policymakers, non‐governmental organizations, the private sector, educators, and researchers.
The conference encourages an ecosystem oriented nexus approach as ecosystems form the foundation of the WEF Nexus with all sectors relying on their services. Aquatic ecosystems and their related services are degrading faster than many other natural systems, threatening the well-being of current and future generations. Special attention will therefore be given to ecosystem-based management approaches and tools in order to achieve WEF Nexus and ecosystem sustainability.
The conference will bring together available information, identify knowledge and action gaps, share lessons on viable instruments and approaches, facilitate networks, and contribute to consensus on priorities for appropriate investment and action by different actors and stakeholders for moving toward action on the WEF Nexus.