11 March 2015

New partnership to bring integrated solutions for sustainability

A new collaboration between research, development, and finance organizations will provide integrative research and solutions connecting energy, water, food, and ecosystem security. 

Dr Naoki Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of GEF, speaks at the launch event on 11 March. © Matthias Silveri / IIASA

Dr Naoki Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of GEF, speaks at the launch event on 11 March. © Matthias Silveri / IIASA

The Global Environment Facility (GEF), International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) today announced the launch of a new project, Nexus Solutions for Sustainability. The project aims to identify integrated approaches to energy, water, food, and ecosystem security in selected regions of the world.

2015 is a pivotal year in deciding the global agenda for sustainable development including climate change. In July, an international conference in Addis Ababa will set the agenda on financing for development. In September, the United Nations is expected to announce the universal Sustainable Development Goals.  And in December, world leaders intend to secure a new climate agreement at the UN climate change conference in Paris.

But after the agreements are made, many questions will remain about how to achieve the new goals. In particular, gaps remain in understanding how the different goals could be jointly addressed, what the costs are of inaction, and how problems in one area may affect problems in other areas. 

This new project aims to identify integrated solutions to energy, water, food, and ecosystem security in selected regions of the world – regions faced by multiple energy and land use challenges, and rapid demographic, economic changes, and hardest hit by increasing climate variability and change.

Dr Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of GEF said: "The Nexus Solutions project is very exciting for me because it will develop practical solutions to some of the world's most pressing sustainable development issues, and also because it shows the importance of bringing together new types of partnerships to achieve this.” 

IIASA Director General and CEO Professor Dr Pavel Kabat said, “At a time when we need to consolidate our financial resources to meet huge interconnected challenges, scientists have been competing among ourselves for ‘silo’ funding. Sustainable development is much more about integrated research and synergistic partnerships—it has to be, given the urgent time frame—and that is what we intend to achieve with this groundbreaking project, which marks a start of what is poised to become a long-term partnership between our three organizations.”


About GEF
The Global Environment Facility is a partnership for international cooperation where 183 countries work together with international institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector, to address global environmental issues. Since 1991, the GEF has provided $13.5 billion in grants and leveraged $65 billion in co-financing for 3,900 projects in more than 165 developing countries. For 23 years, developed and developing countries alike have provided these funds to support activities related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, and chemicals and waste in the context of development projects and programs. Through its Small Grants Programme (SGP) the GEF has made more than 20,000 grants to civil society and community based organizations for a total of $1 billion.
www.thegef.org.

About IIASA
IIASA is an international scientific institute that conducts research into the critical issues of global environmental, economic, technological, and social change that we face in the twenty-first century. Our findings provide valuable options to policy makers to shape the future of our changing world. IIASA is independent and funded by scientific institutions in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Oceania, and Europe.
www.iiasa.ac.at

About UNIDO
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability.
www.unido.org


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Last edited: 30 March 2015

CONTACT DETAILS

Pavel Kabat

IIASA Director General and Chief Executive Officer

Directorate

T +43(0) 2236 807 402

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313