CLEWs - Climate, Land, Energy and Water strategies to navigate the nexus
Land, energy and water are our most precious resources and intrinsically linked to human wellbeing. The manner and extent to which they are being exploited not only leads to resource security questions but also contributes to environmental degradation and climate change. Feedback loops and interdependencies between the different resources especially against the backdrop of climate change are adding an additional layer of complexity to this situation. Efficient resource management and cross-sectorial approaches to policy making is therefore of great importance for resource security, and for effective mitigation and adaptation measures.
The research on Climate, Land-use, Energy and Water strategies (CLEWs) develops an integrated systems approach. It investigates interconnections between these different resource sectors, to determine the effects changes in one sector might have on the others, and identify counter-intuitive feedbacks in these integrated systems. CLEWs studies can both provide valuable insights regarding the trade-offs between conflicting uses of natural resources and help highlight potential synergic solutions to overcome them. Of key importance is the provision of policy relevant information. Key studies have shown that not considering the CLEW nexus can lead to unsustainable development while consideration of the CLEWs nexus can lead more effective policies. Our CLEWs case studies include a number of African countries , small island developing states and European transboundary basins , with emphasis on context specific nexus issues, such as (but not limited to) links between water availability, hydro-power production, ecosystem services and agricultural intensification. Another effort within this research field is the development of a global CLEWs model that accounts for trade as well as other constraining resources (e.g. minerals and materials) . Finally, reflecting an urbanizing world and the role cities play as resource consumption hubs, we are developing a framework for analysing urban CLEWs interlinkages and their implications for urban planning, from developed cities to growing informal settlements. Our CLEW research is undertaken in collaboration with a number of leading international institutions including FAO, IAEA, IIASA, SEI, UNDESA and UNECE.