Exploring the water-land-energy nexus: towards sustainable agriculture, forestry and mining in Sweden and Chile

The global demand for natural resources poses similar challenges to societies all over the world, regardless of where resource use takes place. Be it in the Global South or Global North, water, land and energy (WLE) are fundamental resources for the development of a modern and sustainable society. Agriculture, forestry and mining (AFM) – key economic activities in Sweden and Chile – are intensive users of WLE, having significant ecological footprints that can compromise societal wellbeing and ecosystem functioning. In addition, WLE are sensitive to global drivers such as climate change, population growth, land use change and economic instability.

Since the AFM sectors impact the interconnected WLE resources, there is a strong need to address the common challenges of these key economic activities and their dependency on the WLE-nexus, highlighting trade-offs and synergistic relationships in an inter-disciplinary and collaborative manner.

Under the auspice of the Academic Collaboration Forum Chile-Sweden, our aim is to contribute towards a sustainable use of WLE, providing a cutting-edge knowledge base for both decision-makers and society.

The following questions have been identified:

  • How do the AFM sectors affect society and the bio-physical environment? What are the consequences of these activities for the provision of ecosystem services?
  • How does climate change affect the WLE nexus and its impact on AFM activities? What is the relationship with other major global change drivers (e.g. land use change, population growth)?
  • What is the sustainable level of use of WLE in AFM activities? How will Integrated Resource Management of WLE contribute to achieving this?
  • To what extent can technological, institutional, economic and social innovations in the AFM sectors promote the sustainable use of WLE?


Osvaldo Salazar


Francisco Meza