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The Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus: Towards A Practical Planning and Decision Support Framework for Landscape Investment and Risk Management

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The Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus: Towards A Practical Planning and Decision Support Framework for Landscape Investment and Risk Management

In recent decades, researchers and policy-makers have increasingly emphasized the importance of the complex relationships between water, energy and food (also called the WEF nexus) that are often overlooked in narrowly focused actions, investments and policies.

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) has been engaged in research and policy development for water, energy and food security and more recently in the WEF nexus through its participation in international dialogues and commentaries. In order to further our work—including the practical application of the WEF nexus at the local, regional and national levels—we summarized key arguments, approaches, frameworks and lessons learned from global WEF initiatives. From this summary, we built on the information and experiences to develop a framework that would enable future developments to operationalize the WEF nexus to assist in guiding investments and designing policies in context. This paper is intended to serve as a basis for discussion among experts working on the theoretical approaches and practical applications of WEF, in order to gather feedback and assist in improving approaches to integrating water, energy and food.