In an increasingly resource-constrained world, the energy- food-water ‘nexus’ – defined as the interconnections among these three systems vital for human survival – is emerging as an important idea within the sustainable development discourse. Treating energy, food and water systems independently of each other can result in critical system linkages and vulnerabilities being underappreciated and can possibly lead to the formulation and implementation of ineffectual or even counterproductive policies and measures.
A recent report by Stellenbosch’s Sustainability Institute, Mitigating Risks and Vulnerabilities in the Energy-Food-Water Nexus in Developing Countries, seeks to address some of the critical issues around the nexus. Lead author Dr Jeremy Wakeford will present findings from the research which aimed to: (1) to understand the dynamic interactions occurring among energy, food and water systems with a view to identifying the key vulnerabilities and risks facing developing countries in terms of nexus security; and (2) to inform planning and policy in developing countries to mitigate these risks and to promote economic efficiency, social equity and environmental sustainability in food, energy and water provision to their citizens via a transition to more sustainable and resilient systems.
Dr Wakeford’s keynote will be followed by a panel discussion featuring leading experts across each nexus theme: energy, water, and food.