Integrated Modeling of Robust Solutions for Food, Energy, and Water Security Management

The project, which provides policy advice to Ukraine, investigates how the complex linkages and differences between agriculture, energy, and water security can be sustainably developed and coordinated at both the spatial and temporal scales, given the potential systemic risks involved.

© Neydtstock |

© Neydtstock |

On-going global (including climate) changes dramatically increase interdependencies between food, energy and water security inducing potential systemic risks which may threaten sustainability of social, economic, and environmental developments. This calls for new policies providing coherent strategic coordination and regulations among food, energy and water sectors. The lack of such policies in Ukraine led to uncontrolled agricultural production intensification, imbalanced land utilization, and soil, water, air pollution/contamination by heavy metals and other components of wastes and residues of agricultural activities, application of fertilizers and pesticides. Land concentration with focus on profits led large enterprises to reducing payment on humans’ capital resulting in massive rural-urban migration, destructions of rural settlements, income polarization, loss of welfare, depopulation, increase of unemployment. New dynamic mixed strategy of rural-urban migration create high risks of poverty and criminality. 

The project “Integrated modeling of food, energy and water security management for sustainable social, economic and environmental developments” investigated coordinated robust sustainable developments accounting for complex linkages and differences in spatial and temporal scales between agriculture, energy and water security, potential systemic risks and new coherent feasible policies at a country level taking into account interregional and international trades, global pollution, related risks, insurance markets, direct and indirect exchange of resources.

In contrast to numerous existing isolated studies using different research principles and data treatments from diverse regions at different time intervals, this project aims at new integrated multidisciplinary approaches by a research team from five non-profit institutes of the National Academy of Sciences, Ukraine, working in collaboration with IIASA. The project develops a harmonized strategic approach for integrated modeling secure sustainable supply of food, energy and water under natural and human-related intentional and unintentional threats. In order to achieve robust policies, both interdependent strategic long-term (anticipative, ex-ante) decisions and short-term (adaptive, ex-post) decisions (adjustments) can be incorporated within integrated stochastic optimization models based on general ideas of “Public-private partnership” principle. Quantile-based indicators are used to cope with systemic risks and extreme events shaped by decisions of various stakeholders and potential adversaries. The methodology was elaborated and tested in case study regions of Ukraine. A harmonized Ukrainian resource data base is being compiled to serve as models’ input. 

Robust food, energy, water, and land management

Impact Sheet #17, February 2017. Food, energy, water, and land: secure provision of these resources is essential for the survival of humankind. Moreover, they are closely linked, and policies that alter one sector can have large impacts on the others. IIASA has developed methods to improve integrated management and help policymakers design robust, sustainable policies, which take into account trade-offs and synergies between all four sectors. This work has fed into national policy in Ukraine. More

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Options Magazine Winter 2016: Planning for the future to ensure no one goes hungry. More

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Last edited: 06 December 2018


Tatiana Ermolieva

Research Scholar Integrated Biosphere Futures Research Group - Biodiversity and Natural Resources Program


2012 - 2016


International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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