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Research Papers, Publications and Books

Resilience // Natural Resource Security in an Uncertain World

By Sylvia Lee .The rapid industrialization and economic growth of the twentieth century brought tremendous progress – life expectancy doubled and billions of people are no longer living in poverty. With this progress, however, new risks and vulnerabilities have also come to the fore. Exponential population growth and the burgeoning middle and urban classes are rapidly driving up the demand for water, food and energy, severely straining our natural resources and creating new sources of tension or conflict. The Water-Food-Energy-Security-Climate Nexus has consistently been identified as containing some of the greatest threats to the global economy and security. Resource insecurity is already acting as a threat multiplier in many parts of the world and will intensify considerably in the coming years. As the world crosses our environmental thresholds, unanticipated socio-economic impacts and frequent political instability will become the norm unless we strengthen our systemic resilience and improve our predictive capacity.


Sylvia Lee has fifteen years of experience in the water sector and currently leads the water programme at the Skoll Global Threats Fund. Prior to that she worked at the World Bank based in Kathmandu, Nepal where she focused on transboundary water issues and climate change adaptation and resilience building. Lee also led the Water Initiative at the World Economic Forum based in Geneva, Switzerland, where her work focused on raising awareness of the global water challenge and engaging the private sector on water issues.




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. 138-146

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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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