The Water-Energy-Biodiversity-Climate-Food Nexus (in short Nexus) initiative (WatNex) was launched on 14 June by EJWP participants during their Training Week in Tel Aviv, hosted by EcoPeace Middle East. WatNex aims to empower a multidisciplinary network of experts and stakeholders working on water, energy and food sustainability by raising their awareness on the importance of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in the context of climate change in Nexus systems in the coming decades.
The initiative is expanding and strengthening the Nexus in regions where the WatNex facilities and/or funding are scarce compared to European standards. Furthermore, the initiative aims to support involvement of underrepresented stakeholders (e.g., junior and/or female experts on biodiversity and climate) in future Nexus actions. Another important goal of the initiative is to provide professional skills development and personal development training to initiative participants, to assist them as future leaders of similar future initiatives that are urgently needed to underpin economic growth with less energy and water consumption to address regional and global environmental concerns.
The initiative is promoting and networking young Croatian and Norwegian female scientists, who are experts in biodiversity within the framework of the planned WatNex activities including Mirela Sertic Peric and Vesna Gulin Beljak from the PMF Department of Biology, and Agnieszka Cuprys from the NMBU.
All participants in the initiative will have the opportunity to develop professionally and personally and acquire the necessary professional and social skills to lead similar initiatives in the future, which are necessary to promote economic growth while applying sustainable solutions based on concerns about the impact of climate change on the availability of water, energy and food, as well as on biodiversity and the functioning of the ecosystems that surround us. The development of skills and networking of young professionals from different areas of the water sector from several European countries follows the best practice of the European Junior Water Programme (EJWP).