The Conference will be held entirely online, with successive high-level panel sessions and group work smoothly spread over three days. It will be highly interactive, with discussions at the science-to-policy interface triggered by keynote speakers tasked to review the state-of-the-art in specific areas of the Nexus (Nexus Talks). Participants and panelists will be asked to provide inspiring evidence of mutually beneficial WEFE Nexus solutions based on the co-production of practical and scientific knowledge. Breakout Groups and a poster session will offer opportunities for networking.


At the Conference, the launch of the report “Gateway to the Future of the Mediterranean: Water, Energy, Food and Ecosystems” will provide examples for substantive discussions on sustainability (Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystem Nexus in the Mediterranean - Seeking examples of best practices | EU Science Hub). Furthermore, the 2021 PRIMA WEFE Nexus Awards (instructions for application here) will be conferred during the Conference.


For your convenience, you can also download the latest version of the programme here.

It is important to note that all the times in the programme below are in Central European Summer Time (CEST). 


Monday, 27 September 2021

First day: High level opening and Session 1

 11:00 – 13:00 Opening Ceremony

Welcome address

Setting the scene

Launch of the report on the WEFE Nexus assessment for the Mediterranean region

Where are we with putting a Nexus approach into practice in the Mediterranean region? The report “Gateway to the Future of the Mediterranean: Water, Energy, Food and Ecosystems” is a collaborative effort of the EC Joint Research Centre, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Global Water Partnership - Mediterranean and institutions from all shores of the region (Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystem Nexus in the Mediterranean - Seeking examples of best practices | EU Science Hub (

 Picture Keynote cropped

Panel discussion and interaction with participants

Science and practice are both rooted in the society, but they often follow different pathways. Experience gained from practice and traditional knowledge need to be fused with the findings of modern science and open up new opportunities in the management of natural resources. The panel will reflect on how to make the boundary between science and practice more fluid, thus facilitating the implementation of the UfM water agenda, the European Green Deal and the UN SDGs agenda.


14:00 – 15:30 Session 1: Renewables-based energy-water approaches as enablers for development

The projected increase of the Mediterranean demand for energy is intimately related to water availability, only made more complex by the expected impacts of climate change. The session focuses on prospects for science- and technology-based solutions to this WEFE Nexus issue. Discussions will address how science can support cross-sectoral negotiations and propose solutions to ensure Mediterranean energy and water security while considering the decarbonisation of the energy sector and a reduction of impacts on the already limited water resources.

Picture Nexus Talk 1 cropped

Panel discussion and interaction with participants 

15:45 – 16:45 Poster
Session 1

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Second day: Session 2 and Session 3

 9:45 – 10:45 Poster Session 2

11:00 – 12:30 Session 2: Exploring the resilience of the Mediterranean food and water systems

Food systems in the Mediterranean region cross over political boundaries and connect consumer choices with land and water use. Mapping these connections and the journey of food from farm-to-fork will bring to light hidden impacts of food supply chains on ecosystems and threats to nutritional security of vulnerable social groups. The panel will address how to bridge science and practice to optimize material and energy flows in the Mediterranean food-water nexus and ensure resilience and/or adaptability in the face of disruptions.

Picture Nexus Talk 2 cropped

Panel discussion and interaction with participants


14:00 – 15:30 Session 3: A step change in science to enable Nexus policy decisions under consensus

Governing the complexity of the Nexus and the resulting social and economic consequences goes beyond the capacity of a single sector. This is even more true with an expanding understanding of the Nexus concept to include climate resilience and human health, which are also locked in a spiral of decline with diverse manifestations at the local level. Evidence-based trade-off analyses can support the development of such a multilevel governance. The session will highlight scientific findings and analyse the array of options available to design natural resource allocation regimes and promote policy decisions under consensus. It will also address how to integrate a balanced perspective on the social, economic and human health role of ecosystems.

 Picture Nexus Talk 3 cropped

Panel discussion and interaction with participants

15:45 – 16:45 Poster Session 3

 Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Third day: Breakout Groups and Closing Session

 9:15 – 10:15 Poster Session 4

10:30 – 12:30 Breakout Groups: Designing practical Nexus pilots to show economic and socio-ecological benefits

Although various technical solutions exist, what is lacking is their wide acceptance and on-the-ground application. We need to translate the WEFE Nexus concept and their applied practices into social and economic terms and explain the tangible return to stakeholders. We need to show how the Nexus can offer entrepreneurial and employment opportunities helping people avoid facing desperate dilemmas, such as migration vs. insecurity, or how the Nexus approach can be a tool for local or transboundary conflict resolution, a game changer for addressing inequalities and peace building in the region. Process design is then crucial to support intersectoral dialogues. The task for the breakout groups will be to offer demonstration cases likely to show the economic and socio-ecological benefits of the WEFE Nexus approach. Participants will discuss this and make proposals that take into account the feedback received on the questions raised in the previous sessions.


Several parallel Breakout Groups in small chat rooms to ensure direct involvement of as many as possible participants.


14:00 – 16:00: Synthesis

Sum-up by the rapporteurs of the Breakout Groups

Each group will present key lessons and suggestions for action based on practical case studies elaborated during the breakout session. On this basis, discussions will focus on the possible formation of a Community of Practice designed to engage partners in experience sharing from hands-on WEFE Nexus actions in the Mediterranean region, based on voluntary contributions made by competent partners.

Award of the PRIMA WEFE Nexus prizes

PRIMA will award two recognition Prizes "The PRIMA WEFE Nexus Awards" to those research teams and practitioners having devised and demonstrated the successful implementation of combined management practices of water, energy, food and ecosystem resources at the local or regional scale in the Mediterranean (The PRIMA WEFE NEXUS contest opens: Apply by 15 June - PRIMA (

Panel discussion and interaction with participants

Recasting and implementing a new science-to-practice Nexus programme: enabling partnerships among practitioners, scientists and Mediterranean policy and decision makers to make Nexus things happen at operational level.

Closing of the Conference with a reflection on the way forward