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Water, waste, energy and food nexus in Brazil: Identifying a resource interlinkage research agenda through a systematic review

Caiado Couto, L; Campos, LC; da Fonseca-Zang, W; Zang, J; Bleischwitz, R; (2021) Water, waste, energy and food nexus in Brazil: Identifying a resource interlinkage research agenda through a systematic review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews , 138 , Article 110554. 10.1016/j.rser.2020.110554. Green open access

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Abstract

The resource nexus consists of a framework to address interlinkages between natural resources and systems that provide water, energy, food and waste management. It transcends traditional assessments conducted in “silos”, raising trade-offs and synergies that are rarely acknowledged. The nexus framework is intrinsically context-specific, as each respective region has particularities in terms of critical interlinkages. Brazil is the world's eighth largest economy [1] and is heavily reliant on natural resources. This paper considers Brazil to be a textbook case for nexus research that identifies critical interlinkages that are neglected by literature, which is typically based on single-resource analysis. It proposes a research agenda to advance resource nexus assessments and improve resource governance in Brazil. We propose a novel method for nexus research, systematically reviewing geographical context-specific papers in relevant single nexus dimensions and establishing resource interlinkages that characterise research gaps and policy priorities. We found that 36% of practices reviewed involve more than one resource at a time, characterising interlinkages not analysed by the literature. Lastly, selected quantitative indicators were used to identify critical interlinkages by analysing the representativeness of practices in the national context, and the relevance of synergies or trade-offs for Brazil. Critical interlinkages in Brazil were found to be irrigation for energy crop expansion (water, food and energy); transport biofuels and fuelwood (water, energy, food); deforestation for new pasture (water, energy, food); and hydropower generation (water and energy). These are, therefore, priorities for future nexus research and for efforts to address synergies and trade-offs in resource governance.

Type: Article
Title: Water, waste, energy and food nexus in Brazil: Identifying a resource interlinkage research agenda through a systematic review
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2020.110554
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2020.110554
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Water; Waste; Energy; Food; Nexus; Practices; Natural resource management; Interlinkages; Brazil
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10115777
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