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The water–energy–food security nexus: towards a practical planning and decision support framework for landscape investment and risk management

In recent decades, researchers and policymakers have increasingly emphasised the importance of the complex relationships between water, energy and food (also called the WEF nexus) that are often overlooked in narrowly focused actions, investments and policies. This paper summarises key arguments, approaches, frameworks and lessons learnt from global WEF initiatives. From this summary, the authors build on the information and experiences to develop a framework that would enable future developments to operationalise the WEF nexus to assist in guiding investments and designing policies in the particular context. The paper is aimed as a basis for discussion among experts working on the theoretical approaches and practical applications of WEF, in order to gather feedback and assist in improving approaches to integrating water, energy and food. As part of this goal, the paper proposes a four-step approach to implement such an integrated framework in the context of watershed ecosystems.