Research article // The Water-Energy-Food Nexus as an Adaptation Strategy for Achieving Sustainable Livelihoods at a Local Level
By Luxon Nhamo, Bekithemba Ndlela, Sylvester Mpandeli and Tafadzwanashe Mabhaudhi. The authors of the study developed a conceptual framework to illustrate the interlinked socio-ecological components and establish the quantitative relationships of those components. This facilitated an understanding of socio-ecological connections and sustainable livelihoods-environment co-benefits at a local scale.
The WEF nexus framework for building resilient communities at local level, integrating the drivers of change with the elements of sustainable livelihoods to attain a sustainable balance between natural supply and human and environmental demands. © The authors
The imbalance between resource availability and population increase requires transformative approaches to inform policy, decision-making and practice on coherent adaptation strategies for improved livelihoods and resilient communities. Nexus approaches are built on an understanding that natural processes do not operate in isolation within a system; hence, an emergent challenge in one unit obviously disturbs the whole system. This study applied an integrated water-energy-food (WEF) nexus analytical model to holistically assess resource availability, distribution, use and management at a local level in Sakhisizwe Local Municipality, South Africa. The aim was to inform strategies and guidelines on improving livelihoods of resource-poor rural communities. The calculated municipal composite index of 0.185, coupled with a deformed spider graph, represents a marginally sustainable resource management result. The analysis simplified the relationship between the intricately interlinked socio-ecological components and facilitated the identification of priority areas for intervention. The process provides pathways that steer resource use efficiencies and attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Unlike current linear approaches, integrated and transformative approaches like the WEF nexus provide a multidisciplinary platform for stakeholder engagement to sustainably enhance cross-sectoral coordination of resource management and harmonisation of policies and strategies. The WEF nexus approach is useful for informing decisions on improving livelihoods, enhancing resource securities, identifying priority areas for intervention and providing transformative pathways towards sustainable development.
Climate change; resilience; risk analysis; adaptation; nexus planning; resource security
Nhamo, L., Ndlela, B., Mpandeli, S., & Mabhaudhi, T. (2020). The Water-Energy-Food Nexus as an Adaptation Strategy for Achieving Sustainable Livelihoods at a Local Level. Sustainability, 12(20), 8582. doi:10.3390/su12208582
The Water-Energy-Food Nexus as an Adaptation Strategy for Achieving Sustainable Livelihoods at a Local Level
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