Iran is a country that grapples with the challenges of drying lakes and rivers, declining groundwater resources, water contamination, and numerous other water-related issues. To discuss how the Nexus Approach can help solve critical issues of environmental resource management in Iran, the UNU Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES), together with the Institute for the Environment at the University of Tabriz, co-organised a two-day workshop on the “Nexus Approach in Environmental Resource Management”. From 12 to 13 November 2017, participants discussed a shared vision for nexus thinking in Tabriz, Iran.
The first day of the workshop was dedicated to understanding local conditions. Three local experts — Prof. Naser Agh (University of Urmia), Dr Ali A. Alamolhoda (Sharif University of Technology), and Prof. Saeed Morid (Tarbiat Modares University) — provided insight into the environmental issues faced by the region. They also discussed the progress of research as well as the implementation of solutions in Iran so far.
Well over 200 participants — mainly professors, researchers, PhD students, government officials, as well as students of the University of Tabriz, mostly representing water and environmental disciplines — attended the inaugural segment on the second day.
In his opening remarks, Prof. Hiroshan Hettiarachchi, who heads the Waste Management Unit at UNU-FLORES, spoke about how nexus thinking is an important tool when trying to solve environmental issues. Looking at the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus in particular, he emphasised the role waste has to play as a resource.
Among the many more interesting topics discussed during the day, were the contributions from Prof. Eelco van Beek and Mr Rudolph Cleveringa from the Global Water Partnership, Dr Fritz Holzwarth (former Rector i.a. at UNESCO-IHE), and Dr Louise Karlberg from the Stockholm Environment Institute.
Through this international capacity development workshop, local experts gained a better understanding of the concept of the Nexus Ap2800proach, and had a chance to share their region-specific knowledge on environmental issues. Based on the positive response of participants, the workshop carries hope for the continued replication of such workshops in other countries, inviting increasingly more experts to help shape the discourse on the Nexus Approach.
For more information, read the news story on the UNU-FLORES website.