Integrated Management of the Land, Food, Water & Energy Nexus

By Janez Susnik

image

From 11 to 13 July, the Horizon2020 funded project ‘SIM4NEXUS’ held its kick-off meeting in The Hague, The Netherlands. This major, four-year research project brings together 25 partners from across Europe. The kick-off meeting was attended by representatives from all partners. UNESCO-IHE was represented by Dr. Janez Sušnik, who leads a Work Package.

Land, food, energy, water and climate are interconnected in a single system which is characterised by complexity and feedback that we do not understand. The integrated management of this Nexus is critical to secure the efficient and sustainable use of resources. Barriers to a resource efficient Europe are policy inconsistencies and knowledge gaps, as well as technology lock-in. SIM4NEXUS will develop innovative methodologies to address these barriers, by building on well-known and scientifically established existing “thematic” models, simulating different components of the Nexus and by developing:

  1. 1. Novel complexity science methodologies for integrating the outputs of thematic models;
  2. 2. An online platform for integration of public data and metadata for decision and policy making;
  3. 3. A method to integrate strategies at different spatial and temporal scales with top down and bottom up learning processes, discovering new and emergent knowledge, in the form of unknown relations between the Nexus components and policies/strategies;
  4. 4. A web-based Serious Game for multiple users, as an enhanced interactive visualisation tool, providing an immersive experience to decision- and policy-makers. The Serious Game will assist the users in better understanding policies at different scales, leading towards a better scientific understanding of the Nexus. The Serious Game will be tested on ten Case Studies ranging from regional to national level. Two further Strategic Serious Games at European and global levels will also be developed for demonstration, education and other purposes.
  5. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon  2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No  689150.