event 09 févr. 2022

Research Article // Operationalizing water-energy-food nexus research for sustainable development in social-ecological systems: an interdisciplinary learning case in Central Asia

By A. Hamidov and colleagues. The water-energy-food nexus concept was operationalized for five case studies in Central Asia during a one-week international summer school in a learning setting. The research question was to analyze if and to what extent the application of the SIA framework and protocol is a suitable tool for enabling systemic sustainability-oriented research. The relevance of this research lies in the need for scholarship about systemic methods that support working across disciplines.

category Research Papers, Publications and Books tag Water tag Water-resource management tag Nexus methodology tag Governance (of the Nexus) tag Policy tag SDGs globe Asia globe Asie centrale
Wef nexus CA paper

Abstract

In social-ecological systems, natural resource management can be characterized by trade-offs across sectors and sustainability targets. The water-energy-food (WEF) nexus concept makes explicit various trade-offs in order to maximize synergies of interventions. However, there are few successful examples of its operationalization in research settings. Here, we explore in a learning setting if sustainability impact assessment (SIA) protocols can be a useful process to be used to adopt a systemic, interdisciplinary perspective to operationalize WEF nexus in research for sustainable development. The process and method adopted of SIA protocol, evaluated for five exemplary WEF nexus cases in Central Asia during a week-long international workshop, adequately addressed the complexity of WEF interrelationships and associated sustainability issues, and facilitated a comparative case study analysis across scales. Results within this process highlight that water governance was critical for large-scale transboundary WEF nexus management, while land and soil management were decisive for minimizing trade-offs at local levels. Issues of interdisciplinarity, complexity, uncertainty, and reflection on impacts were adequately addressed, but challenges remain in the consideration of ethics and the design of transparent, multi-actor cooperation. Most importantly, this exercise showed that employment of the process of SIA protocol supported disciplinary experts to work across disciplines and take a systemic approach for analyzing WEF nexus.

Published

2022

By

Ecology and Society

Citation

Hamidov, A., Daedlow, K., Webber, H., Hussein, H., Abdurahmanov, I., Dolidudko, A., ... & Helming, K. (2022). Operationalizing water-energy-food nexus research for sustainable development in social-ecological systems: an interdisciplinary learning case in Central Asia. Ecology and Society, 27(1).

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