Today we face multiple interlinked global challenges of which climate change and biodiversity loss are the most pressing. Together these represent the greatest threats to economic development, livelihoods, and human health in the 21st century. Against this background, sectoral interventions undertaken in isolation without due consideration of other sectors are one of the biggest challenges to delivering effective, sustainable solutions. The transboundary nature of many river basins makes integrated and sustainable management of water, energy, food, and ecosystems particularly challenging. Systems approaches – facilitating integrated approaches across sectors to identify positive synergies and manage trade-offs – are a prerequisite for sustainable development.
The CGIAR Initiative on NEXUS Gains recognizes that water, land, energy, forests, and biodiversity are inextricably interconnected and critical to nutrition, health, and food security, poverty reduction, livelihoods and jobs, climate adaptation and mitigation, and environmental health and biodiversity. The Initiative promotes systems thinking to avoid unintended consequences, enhance sustainable development, and realize multiple benefits across the water, energy, food, and ecosystems nexus. Good governance across boundaries and sectors requires strong institutions and actors willing to overcome siloed approaches and adopt new tools to support systems approaches.
This Initiative aims to realize gains across water, energy, food, and ecosystems in selected transboundary river basins, by developing research and capacity to strengthen systems thinking, and providing tools, guidelines, training, and facilitation for analysis and research for development.