The LIVES project explores actionable knowledge for governing the food, energy and water nexus under the UNESCO Chair in Hydropolitics at the University of Geneva’s Institute for Environmental Sciences. Our goal is to improve the approaches available to policy experts and local communities for visualising and governing the dynamic interdependencies between food, energy and water. Our research objective is to learn how to develop indicator frameworks that truly support adaptive governance of complex social-ecological systems supplying food, energy and water security.  The LIVES project is grounded in sustainability science and so assumes that the conditions under which information is produced will determine if that information is useful, usable and used. After an initial review, we selected a mixed method of governance context analysis and participatory system dynamics modelling as a promising approach.  A number of questions drive the research.
  • Can participatory system dynamics modelling identify critical relationships between food, energy and water?
  • Does our participatory processes for linking indicators initiate new actions in nexus governance?
  • What science, policy and practice interface dynamics are important in producing actionable knowledge for nexus governance? 

We are testing the approach in two WWF conservation landscapes in Cambodia and Colombia. For more information on our thinking, check these out: 
Our learning is culminating in the LIVES knowledge-action framework which has harnessed the collective knowledge and experience of over 100 researchers, policy makers and local community representatives. We are publishing our findings in peer reviewed journals. Our other outputs include analytical frameworks, example research briefs, methods protocols and project monitoring, evaluation and learning tools. We plan to make these open access resources for anyone working in nexus governance. Keep an eye on our Resources for You and follow us on Twitter