Call for contributions: Urban Food-Waste-Energy Nexus and the Private Sector

Rapid economic growth, expanding populations and urbanisation are driving up demand for energy, water and food, especially in developing countries. By 2050, the demand for energy will nearly double globally (INRENA, 2015). The ability of existing water, energy and food systems to meet this growing demand is constrained. Cities and metropolitan regions need to respond to multiple challenges of ensuring adequate access to food and energy for their population; sustaining local economic development; and sustainably managing resources while addressing the challenges of climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The interlinkage between the water, energy and food supply systems - the nexus - is an important consideration in creating resilience. For instance, using bio-wastes for energy and nutrients addresses some of the trade-offs between energy and food and may bring benefits in both sectors. Recovering energy from waste may result in improved waste management, and in provision of reliable energy to households, institutions and commercial entities (for instance electricity generation from agro-wastes, by linking sanitation and biogas or in briquette manufacturing (IWMI, Practical Action)). The Urban Nexus (ICLEI) relates to the design of sustainable urban development solutions: to identify and pursue synergies between sectors, enhancing performance, management of resources and supply of services.

This issue of the UA Magazine focuses on this urban-food-energy nexus with a particular focus on the role of the private sector and its enabling environment. It will address and include technical innovations, as well as approaches that connect urban food security and access to sustainable energy. It will share experiences and cases from the West-African Bio-wastes for Energy and Fertilizer (WABEF) project, and a recent study done by RUAF and Food Business Knowledge Network (FBKN) on the role of the private sector and social enterprises in shaping or enabling city region food systems (CRFS). This study discusses what business and policy environment is needed to better engage the private sector in building such CRFS. Also experiences from the Resource Recovery and Reuse program IWMI (the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE)) and other partners on the safe recovery and use of energy (next to water and nutrients) from waste streams are included.

Deadline for articles: 1 February (outline), 1 March (full article). Total article length should be 600 (1 page), 1400 (2 page) or 2100 (3 page).

The Magazine will be published by July 1, but parts will appear earlier on the WABEF website and will be used in various activities of the WABEF Project.

Please f [dot] hoekstra [at] ruaf [dot] org (contact us) to express your interest and to receive author guidelines.