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SDGs

WEF Nexus and SDGs // Toward an Understanding of Synergies and Trade-Offs Between Water, Energy, and Food SDG Targets

By Marianela Fader, Colleen Cranmer, Richard Lawford and Jill Engel-Cox. This paper introduces the results of an assessment, which identified the greatest synergies and trade-offs between SDG 2 (food), SDG 6 (water) and SDG 7 (energy). A methodology was developed, which analyzed the SDGs for their input requirements, infrastructure needs, and the risks and benefits for the provision of ecosystem services.

Achieving the targets set out in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) will require committed efforts by nations and organizations over the coming decade. To determine which actions work most harmoniously within funding, infrastructure development, and implementation of three closely aligned goals, we conducted an assessment to identify where the greatest synergies may occur and where conflicting resource needs create trade-offs that may threaten SDG success.

The SDGs each have several targets that need to be realized for the goal to be reached. In the present study, we developed a methodology where each target of the SDG 2 (food), 6 (water), and 7 (energy) was analyzed for its input requirements, infrastructure needs, and the risks and benefits for the provision of ecosystem services. Then the targets were compared pairwise and a total score of interaction was calculated to determine different levels of synergies and trade-offs for every pair. In some cases targets were mutually supportive, in other cases there were no interactions among the targets, and for some areas the targets were in conflict with each other. For example, targets 2.5 (maintain genetic diversity), 6.5 (implement integrated water resources management) and 7.a (enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy) have no conflicts with other targets and have different levels of synergies with most of the other targets. On the contrary, various targets of SDG 2, and especially the target 2.b (correct and prevent trade restrictions), are in slight conflict with other targets by potentially overusing resources needed by other targets or threatening ecosystem services.

Our approach confirms the general belief that SDG 6 (water) has the highest number of potential synergies (a total of 124). Thus, achieving the water targets will make it continuously easier to achieve other targets. While the results may need to be adapted for a specific locality or country, overall they provide an improved understanding of the interactions between the targets. The value of the study lies in the quantitative methodology as it can be used as a replicable analysis for any level of work on SDG implementation.

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Frontiers in Environmental Science (open access)

Published

November 2018

In

Front. Environ. Sci. 6:112. doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2018.00112

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SDGs

WEFE Nexus Publication // European Commission Position Paper on the WEFE Nexus and the SDGs

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) and European Commission's Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) have recently launched a Position Paper on the Water, Energy, Food and Ecosystems (WEFE) Nexus and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Highlighting the key outcomes of exchanges with experts held in 2018, the Paper aims to launch a dialogue on how to operationalise the WEFE Nexus.

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Solar-powered Irrigation Systems (SPIS)

JRC Technical Report // Water-Energy-Food Nexus Interactions Assessment: Renewable Energy Sources to support Water Access and Quality in West Africa

By Kougias I., Szabó S., Scarlat N., Monforti F., Banja M., Bódis K., Moner-Girona M. Mitigating the big challenges of access to clean water, energy and poverty in Africa requires integrated solutions. The analysis of issues related to the water, energy, food and the ecosystem through a nexus approach, has attracted the interest of scientists, policy-makers and the private sector. The present Technical Report examines the potential of such an approach to create beneficial synergies between the...

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Modelling and Assessment

Holistic Water-Energy-Food Nexus for Guiding Water Resources Planning // Matagorda County, Texas Case

By Muhammed I. Kulat, Rabi H. Mohtar and Francisco Olivera. The authors developed a holistic framework to provide sustainable scenarios that include feasible infrastructure interventions. The framework focuses on water and associated links with other resources, includes a unique analytic tool for quantifying scenarios, and ultimately produces a sustainability analysis of each scenario. Optimal scenarios are offered that consider site-specific dynamic resource interlinkages. The WEF nexus model...

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