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Mission of the Nexus Resource Platform

Sharing knowledge on the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus

Our mission is to foster a paradigm shift in the international development agenda, from sectoral development interventions towards an integrated resource-use approach by sharing the knowledge on the Nexus approach.


The Nexus Resource Platform is the leading global knowledge hub for managing and sharing resources on the Water, Energy and Food Nexus. It enables practitioners, researchers and policymakers to think beyond sectors to ensure access to water, energy and food for all.


How are the water, food, and energy sectors connected?

The world is currently facing a challenge of securing water, energy, and food for all: scarce natural resources and the environment are increasingly exploited while at the same time the demand for freshwater, agricultural products and energy is rising. Inequalities in the distribution and access to water, energy and food are exacerbated by the impacts of climate change.

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  • 69%

    of agriculture uses the major share (69%) of global freshwater resources

  • 30%

    of global energy consumption is used for food production and supply

  • 90%

    of global power generation is water-intensive

More than one-quarter of the energy used globally is needed for food production and supply and the agricultural sector is the largest user of the world’s freshwater resources. At the same time, water scarcity already affects 2.1 billion people.

Sectoral planning in the water, energy and agricultural sectors can lead to unintended, negative consequences, which in turn worsens livelihoods and undermines sustainable development. Today's resource governance is insufficiently steered towards achieving a balanced water, food and energy security for humankind.


Single-mindedly pursuing individual goals may interfere with other sectors!

For example:

Increasing electricity production

  • More abstraction of water for cooling
  • Less water for other sectors and the environment
  • Less water security

Intensifying agricultural production

  • More land used for growing food
  • Competition over land resources (eg. biofuels vs. crops as food)
  • More use of fertilisers
  • Contamination of water resources
  • Less water security downstream
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Need for a systematic WEF Nexus approach!

What is the WEF Nexus approach?

The WEF Nexus approach is based on an understanding of the synergies and trade-offs between competing uses of water, land, and energy-related resources. The WEF Nexus approach connects stakeholders coming from different sectors in order to improve resource use and sustainable development.

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The WEF Nexus approach is a central pillar of the Agenda 2030 and an enabler for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals!

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Key Resources

Here you can find a selection of key ressources that can serve as a basis to better understand the WEF Nexus approach.

Understanding the Nexus

Bonn2011 Nexus Conference // Background Paper "Understanding the Nexus"



This paper is the scientific background paper of the Bonn2011 Nexus Conference. It explains the Nexus and presents initial evidence for how a nexus approach can enhance water, energy and food security in a green economy by increasing efficiency, reducing trade-offs, and building synergies across sectors.

Policy recommendations

Bonn2011 Nexus Conference // Policy Recommendations



The Policy Recommendations are the result of a broad participatory stakeholder process which started during the preparation for the Bonn2011 Nexus Conference and includes feedback from participants during and in the follow-up to the conference.

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WEFE Nexus Publication // European Commission Position Paper on the WEFE Nexus and the SDGs



The Joint Research Centre (JRC) and European Commission's Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) have launched a Position Paper on the Water, Energy, Food and Ecosystems (WEFE) Nexus and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Towards operationalising the WEF Nexus

Report // Towards Operationalising the Water-Energy-Food Nexus



This technical report examines the profound connections between food, energy and water (the Nexus) at a global level. Going beyond a description, insights are provided about how to operationalise Nexus thinking in practical ways that respond from the local to global water risks.

Implementing the WEFE Nexus

Report // Implementing the Water–Energy–Food–Ecosystems Nexus and Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals



The book's primary intention is to serve as a roadmap for professionals working in developing countries interested in the Nexus Water–Energy–Food–Ecosystems (WEFE) approach. The book shows a multi-disciplinary approach, showcasing the importance of the proper use of Nexus WEFE when implementing certain development programs in regions around the globe.

The WEF Nexus approach is a fundamental shift from a pure sectoral approach to solutions that embrace a cross-sectoral, coherent, and integrated perspective. It challenges existing structures, policies and procedures at global, regional and national levels.

Key benefits of the WEF Nexus approach:

  • Reducing sectoral trade-offs

    Avoid or limit negative externalities

  • Enhancing resource efficiency

    Solutions designed to address multiple challenges simultaneously

  • Political benefits

    Encreased Political legitimacy, political stability

  • Leverage synergies towards overarching development goals

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The WEF Nexus approach in practice

The Nexus Resource Platform is managed by GIZ as part of the Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme. Our goal is to institutionalise the WEF Nexus approach in national and regional governance structures and investment decisions and to engage the public and private investors for WEF Nexus projects. We are active in five different regions.

Through the Nexus Resource Platform, you can further your understanding of the WEF Nexus approach and its implementation around the world.

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