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Natural resources are more than ever under stress, due to the growing population and climate change. Competition among different sectors using resources is increasing. For example, competing in water resources between agricultural practice and energy production may alter river flows. In parts of the world, mining is jeopardizing environmental health, leading to negative externalities for other economic activities. In this framework, the concept of Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystem (WEFE) Nexus is introduced to highlight the interdependence of water, energy, and food security, and natural resources that underpin food security. Such an approach allows for the identification of sustainable management strategies and helps in determining the proper trade-offs and synergies that maintain the integrity and sustainability of ecosystems. Several efforts have been made by various international organizations which include policy development and monitoring, and exploration of different strategies, including fostering a green transition, replacing fossil fuels with renewable energies. In this sense, with the development in science and technology, the amount of information related to the WEFE Nexus management has been continuously growing, where a significant focus area has been the mapping of resource deprivation and determination of associated risks. Research efforts, however, are needed to capitalize on the availability of such data, fostering sustainable management of natural resources.
This special issue welcomes quantitative studies focusing on innovative approaches for sustainable water resources management, considering the framework of the WEFE Nexus. This special issue especially focuses on natural resource mapping, evaluation and exploitation, monitoring, and related risk-related aspects based on modelling with geoscientific data. We also welcome submission of manuscripts on interdisciplinary studies, but not limited to, addressing methods and techniques for natural resource conservation, biodiversity, ecological modelling, and socio-economically sustainable use of natural resources
Key themes include, but are not limited to, the following:
The present Special Issue is co-organised with the NEXUS-NESS project. The NEXUS-NESS project has received funding from the PRIMA Programme, an Art.185 initiative supported and funded under Horizon 2020, the European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.