At the Nexus 2014 Conference at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, IASS and UNCCD made the case for considering soil as underpinning resource for water, energy and food security.

In their side-event, which took place on 5 March 2014, the management of competing demands for soil and land resources took a central role. Alexander Müller, Senior Fellow at the IASS, highlighted the challenge posed by soil and land degradation to sustainable development. The world is losing approximately 24 billion tons of fertile top soil every year because of wind or water erosion. The development of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a Post-2015 framework offers the opportunity to place soils and land on the global development agenda. These resources underpin key ecosystem services such as the provision of renewable energy, food and water which are entrenched in the discussions for the development of the SDGs and are expected to become standalone goals. However, interlinkages between these services pose the challenge of managing tradeoffs as well as considering implications for land use and land use changes. He presented a “Diamond Approach to Implementing the Nexus” which can help consider the natural resources base of the nexus (water, landsoil, biodiversity) and the tradeoffs for the provision of the services under the WEF and Climate Security Nexus.

To download Alexander Müller’s PowerPoint presentation, please click here ↓

To download the report of the session, please click here ↓

The Water Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill hosted the Nexus 2014: Water, Food, Climate and Energy Conference on March 3-7, 2014. The aim was to bring together researchers and practitioners working in government, civil society and business, focusing on the nexus approach. Building on the Water, Food and Energy Nexus Conference held in Bonn, Germany in 2011, this Conference aimed to address the connected, but distinct, relationships between water, food, climate, energy, security, sustainability and development.


Ivonne Lobos Alva
Global Soil Forum
Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS)

Phone: +49 331 28822-431