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Research // Nexus Scientific Research: Theory and Approach Serving Sustainable Development

By Joachim von Braun and Alisher Mirzabaev. The current chapter first explores the factors of global change that are generating an ever greater demand for Nexus approaches in scientific research. Second, it presents the key conceptual underpinnings of Nexus science. Next, the chapter provides some practical examples of modelling the Nexus domains (or sectors) at different scales, and shows how previous modelling approaches need to be enhanced to better suit the Nexus concepts. Finally, the chapter concludes with suggestions for ways to integrate Nexus thinking into science management and organization, including the implications of investment strategies for research on sustainable development across the Nexus domains and Nexus governance, taking into account the realities of the Nexus political economy.


Joachim von Braun is Director of the Center for Development Research (ZFF), Bonn University, and a professor of economic and technological change. His main research interests are in sustainable economic development,poverty reduction, food and nutrition security, resource economics, trade, science and technology policy. He is Chair of the Bio-economy Council of the Federal German Government, Vice-President of the NGO “Welthungerhilfe”, Vice Chair of the Board of Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). He was Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) (2002–2008), and President of the International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE).

Alisher Mirzabaev is a senior researcher at the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn. His current research areas include the economics of land degradation, bioenergy and the Water–Energy–Food Security Nexus. Before joining ZEF in 2009 he was an economist with the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA). He holds a PhD from the University of Bonn in Germany, writing his thesis on the economics of climate change in Central Asia.




The Water, Food, Energy and Climate Nexus: Challenges and an agenda for action. Edited by Felix Dodds and Jamie Bartram. London, New York 2016, pp. 58-71

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Peace and conflict

Project // Improving Security and Climate Resilience in a fragile Context through the Water-Energy and Food Security Nexus (Frexus)

The Frexus project fosters cross-sectoral and integrated approaches in resource management, within local communities in Mali, Niger and Chad that are faced with the consequences of resource scarcity and climate change. The vicious cycle of resource scarcity, competition, conflict and instability currently challenging many communities, can be turned into a virtuous cycle of resilience, sustainable resources management, cooperation and security. Frexus (Nexus in Fragile contexts) aims at providing...

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Pocket Flyer // Water, Energy and Food for All A Nexus Approach

The 2017 BMZ Water Strategy, with its six intersectoral strategies, is a binding basis for German Development Cooperation and integrates cross-sectoral thinking for economically sustainable, integrated and climatefriendly development. The Water, Agriculture and Energy Nexus is one of six intersectoral strategies, highlighting the need to achieve water, energy and food security for well-being.

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Publication // What-If: An Open-Source Decision Support Tool for Water Infrastructure Investment Planning within the Water–Energy–Food–Climate Nexus

By Raphaël Payet-Burin, Mikkel Kromann, Silvio Pereira-Cardenal, Kenneth Marc Strzepek and Peter Bauer-Gottwein. This paper presents a new open-source hydro-economic optimization model, incorporating in a holistic framework, representations of the water, agriculture, and power systems. The model represents the joint development of Nexus related infrastructure and policies and evaluates their economic impact, as well as the risks linked to uncertainties in future climate and socio-economic...

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