Sustainable development and the water-energy-food nexus: a perspective on livelihoods

Biggs, Eloise M., Bruce, Eleanor, Boruff, Bryan, Duncan, John M.A., Horsley, Julia, Pauli, Natasha, McNeill, Kellie, Neef, Andreas, Van Ogtrop, Floris, Curnow, Jayne, Haworth, Billy, Duce, Stephanie, and Imanari, Yukihiro (2015) Sustainable development and the water-energy-food nexus: a perspective on livelihoods. Environmental Science & Policy, 54. pp. 389-397.

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Abstract

The water–energy–food nexus is being promoted as a conceptual tool for achieving sustainable development. Frameworks for implementing nexus thinking, however, have failed to explicitly or adequately incorporate sustainable livelihoods perspectives. This is counterintuitive given that livelihoods are key to achieving sustainable development. In this paper we present a critical review of nexus approaches and identify potential linkages with sustainable livelihoods theory and practice, to deepen our understanding of the interrelated dynamics between human populations and the natural environment. Building upon this review, we explore the concept of ‘environmental livelihood security’ – which encompasses a balance between natural resource supply and human demand on the environment to promote sustainability – and develop an integrated nexus-livelihoods framework for examining the environmental livelihood security of a system. The outcome is an integrated framework with the capacity to measure and monitor environmental livelihood security of whole systems by accounting for the water, energy and food requisites for livelihoods at multiple spatial scales and institutional levels. We anticipate this holistic approach will not only provide a significant contribution to achieving national and regional sustainable development targets, but will also be effective for promoting equity amongst individuals and communities in local and global development agendas.

Item ID: 47332
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: water-energy-food security, livelihoods, Nexus, ELS, sustainable development
Additional Information:

This is an open access article under the CC-BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ )

ISSN: 1873-6416
Funders: World Universities Network, University of Southampton, University of Western Australia (UWA), University of Sydney (US), University of Auckland (UA)
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2017 03:28
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1604 Human Geography > 160499 Human Geography not elsewhere classified @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960311 Social Impacts of Climate Change and Variability @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 50%
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