Abstract

Water scarcity, climatic and demographic change stressors impact most of the Mediterranean regions. Governors are called to take important decisions to support fair allocation of resources, mitigate conflicts and sustain social cohesion while managing socio-economic pressures and support environmental sustainability. Science studies validated methods and data for investigating and quantifying the interlinkages of the Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystem (WEFE) Nexus components. Nevertheless, WEFE Nexus knowledge and technology transfer is still falling behind. Several technical and non-technical barriers still avoid the transition towards WEFE Nexus approaches. Multi-Sector, Multi-Disciplinary and Multi-Actor cross-cooperation and mutual trust are still lacking in actual water and land management strategies. Stakeholders and citizens are not adequately informed and involved perceiving to receive technological and policy advancements as a top-down enforcement, like a burden, rather than understanding their multiple benefits towards a safer and healthier water, energy, food production.

The NEXUS Nature Ecosystem Society Solution or NEXUS-NESS project - funded by the PRIMA Programme under the 2020 Nexus Innovation Action - seeks to address this issue of paramount importance for the Mediterranean regions. NEXUS-NESS aims to co-produce and co-test with stakeholders WEFE Nexus management plans for fair and sustainable allocation of resources. NEXUS-NESS will produce trans-disciplinary datasets and scenarios integrating large scale WATNEEDS and river basin scale FREEWAT eco-hydrological models for building an operational NEXUS-NESS Service (NNS) transferring science-driven WEFE Nexus knowledge to address real case issues. Multi-Sector trans-disciplinary approaches will empower the NEXUS-NESS solution that will interlink the WEF Nexus components with a three-fold conceptualization of the Ecosystem component (Environment, Economy, Engagement/Society). NEXUS-NESS will operationalize the adoption of a WEFE Nexus bottom-up approach in four different case studies employing Living Lab and Responsible Research And Innovation (RRI) principles. Four Nexus Ecosystem Labs (NELs) in Italy, Spain, Egypt and Tunisia will be set up. A WEFE Nexus Innovation Ecosystem Approach (IEA) supported by a novel Multi Stakeholder and User Platform will effectively engage all stakeholders, including the private sector for creating long-lasting Innovation Ecosystems that are based on collaboration among academia, industry, different levels of the public sector and citizens.

The project NEXUS-NESS has the ambition to conceive, develop, validate and deploy WEFE Nexus Services (NNS) and WEFE Nexus management plans to address real problems co-identified with stakeholders in the four Nexus Ecosystem Labs. NEXUS-NESS will not merely conceive data, guidelines and services on paper to only understand how to tackle the major challenges, but NNS will be effectively tested and demonstrated to lay a basis for realizing real change towards a WEFE Nexus strategy. The four diverse labs of Val di Cornia in coastal Tuscany (Italy), the Duero basin (Spain), the Wadi Naghamish (Egypt) and the Wadi Jir basin (Tunisia) will share successful experiences as well as lessons learned from failed attempts engaging a wide range of WEFE Nexus governamental actors and stakeholders.


Authors

Fernando Nardi, Enrica Caporali, Maria Cristina Rullii, Rudy Rossetto, Marco Bonamente, Filippo Tessari, Leonor Rodriguez Sinobas, Xenia Schneider, Sebastian D., Marcu, Christophe Cudennec, Mohamed Bahnassy, Mohamed Ouessar, Salah M’hemdi

 

Poster Session 2 (Water/Food), Room 2 - 28th September, 09:45 to 10:45

 

 


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