The five Nexus Network Partnership Projects will advance understanding of the food- energy- water- environment interactions and support actions to improve their sustainability.
£500,000 of funding from the Nexus Network with additional funds from the ESRC Global Challenges Fund will allow researchers to build research collaboration in locations across both the UK and Africa.
Improving Organic Resource Use in Rural Ethiopia
The Improving Organic Resource Use in Rural Ethiopia project, led by Professor Euan Phimister, University of Aberdeen, increases understanding of the interactions between food, energy and water, associated with organic resource use in two different districts of Southern Ethiopia.
This project will increase our understanding of the interactions between food-energy-water associated with organic resource use in specific geographical and social contexts, and to help identify appropriately adapted local solutions to improve community sustainability and resilience.
This will provide a model for application of transdisciplinary Nexus thinking to improve policy design. The project will also show how integrated biophysical, economic and social science data collection can be used to better capture household adaptation; a challenge that has been recognized by the World Bank.
Biomass Fuel at the Nexus: Policy Lessons from Bottom-Up Perspectives in Urban Ghana
The Biomass fuel in Urban Ghana project, led by Dr Sujatha Raman, University of Nottingham, investigates how urban households and charcoal producers in Ghana experience, envision and manage the nexus and develop and disseminate the implications of this bottom-up understanding for national and international policies.
This project will demonstrate the utility of a bottom-up nexus approach for clean energy policies targeting biomass fuel users and producers. To achieve this, social scientists leading the team will work in partnership with physical scientists and stakeholders to investigate how urban households and charcoal producers in Ghana experience, envision and manage the nexus between energy, food, waste and the environment and to develop and disseminate the implications of this bottom-up understanding for national/international policies.
Understanding the land-water-food nexus in Elgeyo-Marakwet, north-west Kenya
The Land-Water-Food Nexus in Kenya project, led by Professor Henrietta Moore, University College London, draws together interdisciplinary experts, policy makers, and local community members to explore the land-water-food nexus in north-west Kenya.
The communities of Elgeyo-Marakwet in North-west Kenya who live across the temperate Cherangany hills and the dry and arid valley, are heavily reliant on the land-water-food nexus for sustenance and livelihoods.
This project focuses on disentangling the complex and interdependent landwater- food nexus dynamics between the Cherangany forest reserve and the semi-arid Kerio Valley regions of Elgeyo-Marakwet, exploring the potential implications for local biodiversity loss and livelihood resilience in the region. It will collate, review and greatly extend existing research data to understand the land-water-food nexus in relation to both historic and potential future environmental changes.
Engaging policy understandings of kitchen practices and how they can change
The Policy Understandings of Kitchen Practices project, led by Dr Matt Watson, University of Sheffield, engages with policy partners to apply new social science understandings of what goes on in home kitchens. This will inform interventions aimed at changing demand for water, energy and food, including through understanding their inter-dependencies and trade-offs.
The home kitchen is a prime site for the practices that result in domestic demand for water-energy and food services, often in ways which reveal their interdependencies and trade-offs.
Given the significance of the kitchen as a site of resource consumption, it is unsurprising that specific kitchen practices are a target of policy intervention including initiatives aimed at water and energy efficiency, food safety and waste avoidance. While varied in approach, such interventions draw on only some of the available ways of understanding why people do what they do, and how people’s current practices might be changed.
The Energy-Climate-Food Security Nexus: Developing a multi-stakeholder deliberative governance model in Northern Ireland
The Energy-Climate-Security Nexus in Northern Ireland project, led by Professor Sally Shortall, Newcastle University, explores and addresses the regional impacts in Northern Ireland of the global energy-climate-food security nexus, focussed on global energy availability and climate change and their impacts on regional food security.
The energy-climate-food security nexus is characterised by complex interactions and uncertainty. It is not amenable to solutions limited to any one technical approach or academic discipline. ‘Solutions’ applied in one domain, such as energy, may exacerbate climate change, and contribute to degradation of water and agricultural resources. Nexus problem-solving is often a contested process involving diverse and competing stakeholder perspectives and interests.
It therefore requires a multi-stakeholder approach that promotes inclusive dialogue, and facilitates collaborative learning and action. This project will adopt a participatory scenario planning methodology to engage a wide range of stakeholders in addressing the regional impacts of the global energy-climate-food security nexus.
Resource use in Ethiopia: thanks to Professor Paul Hallett from the University of Aberdeen.
Biomass fuel in Kenya: with thanks to Louis on Flickr.
Nexus in NW Kenya: thanks to Nisi Creatv on Flickr.
Kitchen Practices: with thanks to Barney Moss on Flickr.
Nexus in Northern Ireland: thanks to Will Bakker on Flickr.