HLP 2018 Side Event // Addressing Resilience through the Nexus of Water-Food-Energy – Cities as SDG Laboratories

The 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can only be achieved if they are pursued in an integrated manner. The way cities and human settlements are designed, planned, built, financed and governed has far-reaching implications for a life of dignity for all people and for the sustainable future of our planet. Globally, cities are increasingly recognised as transformative development actors, and their relevance for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda is acknowledged as not only crucial, but imperative. There are many opportunities to shape the consideration of urban sustainability issues – both in the conceptualization of the Nexus, as well as in follow-up and review processes.

For this reason, members of the Nexus community of researchers, academics, non-governmental organizations, policy makers, the private sector and other key stakeholders have been working together to identify the success, challenges, opportunities, and tools for implementation in addressing the Nexus at the local, national and transboundary levels. This side event will look at some of these.

Local action must drive implementation. Encouraging local and regional governments to develop their own synergistic implementation plans is needed. National urban frameworks or policies are a useful tool to address the 2030 Agenda alongside other agendas.

The Nexus approach is essential in recognizing the indivisible nature of the SDGs and fundamental in delivering these goals. It brings into focus the positive synergies and potential negative tradeoffs that arise when working to achieve the ambitious 2030 Agenda and helps develop practical solutions to key issues.

Understanding the interlinkages between water, energy, food and building resilience plays a crucial role in delivering sustainable outcomes and helping global communities to deliver the SDGs, end poverty, and create more equitable and peaceful societies. Applying them at the local level where over 60% of the SDG targets will need to be delivered is critical.

Attention to urban issues and involvement of local and regional governments, local actors and global urban actors is important and moreover crucial for the achievement of the goals of follow-up and review. The value of progress reports that address urban sustainability issues will be limited without reflective and iterative knowledge learning capacities. Ones that are embedded in processes that allow actors to reflect on their messages, discuss advances and shortcomings, learn from them, and consequently adjust policies and programmes where necessary.

The event will highlight current approaches to the Nexus:

  • Focuses on Cities as SDG Laboratories
  • The links between the 2030 Agenda and the New Urban Agenda effectively used in the food-energy-water nexus
  • Key challenges for the interlinkage agenda

Where and when

Conference Room F
next to the UN bookshop

15 Jul 2018


The event "Addressing Resilience through the Nexus of Water-Food-Energy – Cities as SDG Laboratories" is organised by the Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future and the International Science Council and the UNC Water Institute.


  • Chair: Charles Nouhan Chairman, Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future
  • Claudia Ringler Chair of the FE2W Network
  • Mark Ritchie CEO of Minnesota World’s Fair Bid Committee, he is the 21st Minnesota Secretary of State
  • Felix Dodds was co-director of the 2018 and 2014 Nexus Conference
  • Robert P. Ndugwa Officer in charge of the Global Urban Observatory Unit in the Research and Capacity Development Branch at the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)
  • Stefano Marta Policy Analyst OECD and Coordinator for A Territorial Approach to the SDG

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