Integrated Modeling of Robust Solutions for Food, Energy, and Water Security Management
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NEXUS Modeling // Integrated Modeling of Robust Solutions for Food, Energy, and Water Security Management

Investigating complex interdependencies between agriculture, energy, and water in the Ukraine - by International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

This project, which provides policy advice to Ukraine, investigates how the complex linkages and differences among agriculture, energy, and water security can be sustainably developed and coordinated at both the spatial and temporal scales, considering the potential systematic risks involved.

Ongoing global changes, including climate change, dramatically increase interdependencies between food, energy, and water security, inducing potential systemic risks that may threaten the sustainability of social, economic, and environmental development. New policies providing coherent strategic coordination and regulation among the food, energy, and water sectors are needed to address these interdependencies.

The lack of such policies in Ukraine has led to uncontrolled intensification of agricultural production, imbalanced land utilization, as well as soil, water, air pollution/contamination by heavy metals and other agricultural wastes and residues and the application of fertilizers and pesticides. The concentration of land ownership with a focus on profits has led large enterprises to reduce investment in human capital, resulting in massive rural-urban migration, destruction of rural settlements, income polarization, loss of welfare, depopulation, and increased unemployment. The new dynamic mixed strategy of rural-to-urban migration creates high risks of poverty and criminality.

To provide science-based policymaking advice, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (NASU) and IIASA launched this joint project exploring the synergies between the advanced methodologies developed at IIASA and in Ukraine. The project benefits from the science-based advice provided over many years by NASU research institutes to diverse policymaking processes in Ukraine.

As well as investigating how to coordinate and develop, in a robust and sustainable way, the complex linkages and differences at spatial and temporal scales between agriculture, energy and water security, as well as the potential systemic risks inherent in such them, the project also explores new and coherent policies that are feasible at a country level, taking into account inter-regional and international trade, global pollution, related risks, insurance markets, and direct and indirect exchange of resources.

Numerous existing isolated studies use different research principles and data treatments from diverse regions at different time intervals. In contrast, this project, with a research team comprising five non-profit institutes of the NASU working in collaboration with IIASA researchers, aims to find new integrated multidisciplinary approaches.

The project aims to develop a harmonized strategic approach for integrated modeling to achieve a secure sustainable supply of food, energy, and water under natural and human-related intentional and unintentional threats.

To achieve robust policies, both interdependent strategic long-term (anticipative, ex ante) decisions and short-term (adaptive, ex post) decisions (adjustments) will be incorporated into integrated stochastic optimization models based on the general idea of the "public-private partnership" principle. Quantile-based indicators will be used to cope with systemic risks and extreme events shaped by the decisions of various stakeholders and potential adversaries.

The methodology will be elaborated and tested in case study regions of Ukraine. A harmonized Ukrainian resource database is being compiled.

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