Adding forests to the water–energy–food nexus


Forest and landscape restoration is a promising strategy for improving water, energy and food securities. We advocate that ‘forest security’ should form a fourth, foundational dimension of a novel water, energy, food and forest security nexus framework. Key principles of this new framework support an integrated role of forests in sustainable development, and engagement of local communities in nature-based solutions, particularly in the Global South. We believe that this new approach can help to accelerate the pace and magnitude of changes needed for achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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Fig. 1: The WEFF nexus.


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We thank the research partners and students of our labs that made this possible. We also thank the following funding agencies: CNPq-Brazil (grant no. 441292/2017-8) and Fondecyt (grant no. 11191021).

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F.P.L.M. conceived the original idea and wrote the outline of the Perspective. F.P.L.M., L.P., R.L.C. and P.H.S.B. conceived tables, figures and work on writing and revisions. S.R.R.P., A.P.M., J.F., G.G. and P.M. contributed to content development, writing and revisions.

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Correspondence to Felipe P. L. Melo.

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Melo, F.P.L., Parry, L., Brancalion, P.H.S. et al. Adding forests to the water–energy–food nexus. Nat Sustain (2020).

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