Food, energy, water, and the environment have often been governed independently, and the impact of one policy on the other systems is inadequately considered—if at all. Ignorance of these interdependencies causes food crises and environmental degradation. Intensifying agriculture to produce more food can deplete and pollute the water supply, for instance, putting water security at risk. Using land to grow biofuels for energy may impinge on land needed for growing food. In addition, climate change and global trade are tightening these links, leaving the supply of these essential resources ever more open to systemic risks.
Ukraine has suffered from the lack of integrated policies. In fact, it has led to uncontrolled agricultural intensification in the country, and accompanying soil, water, and air pollution. Land ownership is concentrated into the hands of a few, profit-led enterprises. Together, these issues have caused migration from rural to urban areas, increased unemployment, and a growing divide between rich and poor.
The IIASA project—Integrated Modeling of Robust Solutions for Food, Energy, and Water Security Management—has provided advice that has led to real improvements in sustainable management in Ukraine. For the project, IIASA partnered with its National Member Organization the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (NASU), and a network of institutes and policymakers. The project has produced a “multimodel framework,” which allows models developed for different resolutions to be integrated, showing policymakers exactly where the trade-offs or synergies of the policy options may lie. The project has also helped to ensure that policies are robust in the face of an uncertain future, by incorporating both long-term, strategic policies that anticipate rare events (severe floods, for instance) and short-term, operational policies.
Last edited: 13 November 2020
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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