Land, food, energy, water and climate are interconnected, creating a coherent system (the ‘Nexus’), dominated by complexity and feedback. Putting pressure on one part of the Nexus can create pressures on the others. Management of the Nexus is critical to secure the efficient use of scarce natural resources.

Global community is well aware of water, energy and food security challenges, but has so far addressed them within sectoral boundaries. At the national level, fragmented actions, lack of coordination, and inconsistencies between laws and regulatory frameworks may lead to misaligned policies. The identification of sustainable water management practices in different contexts and scales that are integrated with major global challenges, such as food security, ecosystem preservation, sustainable water management, low-carbon energy and climate change mitigation is substantial. Water and energy issues should be simultaneously addressed in the decision-making process, including all responsible parties at each sector individually, in order to identify broader influences and cross-sectoral impacts. A nexus approach to sectoral management, through enhanced dialogue, collaboration and coordination, is necessary to ensure that co-benefits and trade-offs are properly considered and that appropriate actions will be put in place.

The purpose of this special session is to bring together researchers, professionals and policy makers in the field of water, energy, climate and food production sectors to first understand how water and energy management, food production, biodiversity, land use and climate are linked together and then propose sustainable approaches, actions and measures to address the multi-dimensional nexus issues as described by the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals through innovation and uptake of technologies and policies.


Maria P. Papadopoulou, Associate Professor, National Technical University of Athens, Greece (

Chrysi Laspidou, Associate Professor, University of Thessaly, Greece (

Can Wang, Professor, Tsinghua University, China (