Organisations & Networks

​​​Water-Energy-Food-Health Nexus Renewable Resources Initiative (WEFRAH)

WEFRAH is an initiative led by AUB's FAFS. This two year seed funding initiative includes a critical mass of faculty from across the university. WEFRAH’s focus is collaboration to achieve primary resources security. The initiative is in response to the President’s vision of engagement and impact to strengthen collaborations between AUB Faculties and Schools, particularly to promote interdisciplinary collaboration by nurturing a bottom-up, participatory approach within AUB and between AUB and its external stakeholders.

WEFRAH opens venues for collaboration with other universities within Lebanon and its outcome and action oriented approach links naturally and organically to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 by presenting a contextualized, relevant approach to their achievement in the MENA region.

Resources gaps facing the MENA region, including access to water, food, energy, nutrition and health care, are expected to increase with demographic and climate changes. These highly interlinked primary resources carry high risks and vulnerability. Understanding these risks and vulnerabilities though quantifying them to better understand the complex system of systems they represent is crucial and requires multi-disciplinary work that includes the technologies, science, policies, health, communication, and economics, at local process and system level scales.​

Vision

To make AUB a regional hub for innovations in water-energy-food-health nexus and interconnectedness in renewable resources in arid and semiarid regions.

Goals

  • Increase collaborations among various faculties/schools and research and policy units on campus on issues related to primary renewable resources.
  • Increase the knowledge level of the Water-Energy-Food-Health Nexus system.
  • Develop a critical mass of inter-disciplinary teams across faculties at AUB that allow them to be more competitive for large scale external funding.
  • Expand research, education, and capacity development opportunities at AREC under WEFRAH.
  • Expand regional and international cooperation.​

Key Research Question​s

  1. How to increase the resilience of the human and earth systems in arid and semi-arid environments?
  2. How to understand an​​d better manage their complex system of systems of primary resources?

Long-term Viability

WEFRAH intends to build capacity for AUB in this crucial area. Seed funding is expected​ to create capacity for sustained external funding from research, foundation, development, and private sectors.

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Further reading

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Governance

WEF Nexus Research // Solar Energy Farming as a Development Innovation for Vulnerable Water Basins

By Mohammad Al-Saidi and Nisreen Lahham. This article evaluates a project from the Azraq Basin in Jordan, and presents similar international experiences, particularly from India. It assesses solar energy farming as an innovation from a water-energy-food nexus perspective.

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Resource

Learning // The Nexus Game

The Nexus Game gives participants a unique opportunity to get an insight into the challenges of water management for producing energy and food, fulfilling the needs of the population, and sustaining environmental flows. The aim of the game is to provide an opportunity to practice how different water management policies can lead to the sustainable development of society in harmony with Nature.

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Research

Blog // What can Transdisciplinarity give back to Communities?

This article presents a research project conducted by the STEPS Centre, using the WEFE Nexus as a conceptual tool for transdisciplinary engagement through urban gardening in the peripheral area Novo Recreio in north Guarulhos, part of the Metropolitan Region of São Paulo, Brazil. It shows the notion of the WEFE Nexus has the potential to bring people together across different siloes, organisations, identities, institutions, levels and sectors. But could it contribute to wider struggles against...

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