(C) flickr / NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Research Papers, Publications and Books

Research // The History of the Nexus at the Intergovernmental Level

By Felix Dodds and Jamie Bartram. This article explores the development of water, energy and food as sectors and how they have come into conflict at the intergovernmental level in relation to the global sustainable development agenda set in Rio in 1992, followed by the development of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), and revisited and developed further in New York at Rio+5 (1997) and in Johannesburg at Rio+10 (2002) and Rio+20 (2012). It looks especially at how, as Rio+20 approached, there was an increased realization that these three sectors needed to be viewed in an interlinked way – a Nexus perspective. In the post Rio+20 phase, within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Open Working Group (OWG) strong voices promoted the idea that a Nexus perspective should be reflected in the targets and indicators under the relevant sector goals.


Jamie Bartram is a Don and Jennifer Holzworth Distinguished Professor of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, and has been director of the Water Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 2009. Bartram is author of more than ninety academic papers, author or editor of forty-nine books and author of more than fifty book chapters. From 1998 to 2009 he was based at the World Health Organization’s headquarters. For most of this time he was the Coordinator of the Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Health Unit which received international recognition for leadership in evidence-based policy and good practice. From 2004 to 2006 he also served as the first chair of UN Water.

Felix Dodds is a Senior Affiliate of the Water Institute, a Senior Fellow at the Global Research Institute at the University of North Carolina and an Associate Fellow at the Tellus Institute. He was the co-director of the 2014 Nexus Conference on Water, Food, Energy and Climate. He was the Executive Director of Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future from 1992 to 2012. He has written or edited twelve books. Prior to Rio+20 with Michael Strauss and Maurice Strong he co-wrote “Only One Earth: The Long Road via Rio to Sustainable Development”. In 2011 he chaired the United Nations DPI 64th NGO conference – “Sustainable Societies Responsive Citizens”. From 1997 to 2001 he co-chaired the UN Commission on Sustainable Development NGO Steering Committee. He is also an International Ambassador for the City of Bonn.




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. 7-46

› back

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...

// more

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.

// more

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...

// more