The Sankey diagram showing how the three Nexus components Water, Energy and Food both separately and in total (WEF Nexus) affect the 17 SDGs for a European-level analysis.
Worldwide, many developing countries are making efforts to achieve sustainability through the 17 SDGs and at the same time to contribute to environmental security. The Nexus approach enables a more integrated and sustainable use of resources that extends beyond traditional siloed thinking and is applicable at multiple scales. This is especially important in a globalized world where collaboration is becoming increasingly important for societies. In this framework, we present an analysis that will assist policymakers set priorities in investments by investigating the influence of the WEF nexus on the 17 SDGs and vice versa. Following the Nexus approach may thus enhance synergies and contribute to increased performance in connected SDGs that are positively influenced. In this article, we present an analysis that allows stakeholders to adapt it to their specific needs by entering new scores based on the characteristics of each case study; the results of this methodology should be considered in light of the specific conditions, including socio-cultural aspects and geographical, geopolitical, and governance realities, as well as the scale of the case study in question. A Fuzzy Cognitive Map analysis is also conducted on the scores to quantify SDG impact and identify the SDGs that most strongly “influence” nexus-coherent policies and the SDGs that are most strongly “influenced by” the nexus. This is achieved by analyzing the causality in this complex system of positive and negative interlinkages. Through this analysis, three SDGs, namely SDG 2 (Food), SDG 6 (Water) and SDG 7 (Energy), are indicated as the most influenced by the WEF nexus, revealing either synergies or trade-offs, while other SDGs are identified as having little interaction with the WEF nexus system.
Ioannou, A. E., & Laspidou, C. S. (2023). Cross-Mapping Important Interactions between Water-Energy-Food Nexus Indices and the SDGs. Sustainability, 15(10), 8045. MDPI AG. Doi: 10.3390/su15108045
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