Sustainable development in the Mediterranean region is facing a combination of challenges that are likely to undermine livelihoods. The Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystems (WEFE) Nexus is gaining increasing attention in policymaking and research communities as a means of addressing sectoral interdependencies in the management of natural resources and as an approach for operationalising the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This is evident in the rapidly growing literature in the field. However, most of the published studies merely debate the need to fully understand the interdependencies between the WEFE sectors, with few examples of successful ground-level WEFE Nexus practices.
The 2020 WEFE Nexus Science Advances Conference in Nicosia, Cyprus is organised by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA) and the Cyprus Institute to address the role of science as a driver of innovation and its interface with the policymaking process.
With a focus on the Mediterranean, the Conference will look at the four aspects of the WEFE Nexus from different perspectives (e.g. through the eyes of economists, sociologists and end users) and canvass opinions on how to approach the cross-sectoral management of WEFE resources.
Participants will include scientists, business and water practitioners, professional organisations, as well as governmental and regional policymakers and NGOs from across the Mediterranean countries, all brought together to:
- Explore capacity for cross-sectoral analyses of the use of natural resources by exchanging knowledge on the development, use and demonstration of Nexus methodologies applicable across scales;
- Promote the collection of best WEFE Nexus practices in the Mediterranean region and the incorporation of lessons learnt into hands-on guidance for the development of innovative and economically viable roll-outs;
- Elaborate on the role of a WEFE Nexus Community of Practice to stimulate cross-organisation collaboration and knowledge sharing in the Mediterranean region.
The outcomes of the Conference will contribute to the objectives set out in the UfM Water Declaration, the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda of PRIMA and the actions proposed by the European Commission in the roadmap of the new European Green Deal.