Changes in demographics, urbanisation and climate are significantly impacting the availability and use of environmental resources such as energy, water and land. Traditional approaches to resource management ignore the interconnectedness of environmental resources, treating them in isolation rather than in combination. That is, they ignore how the use of and alterations to one environmental resource impacts others. In light of the dynamic conditions influencing resource management, sustainable development requires new integrated strategies.
However, the complex relations between demands, resource availability and quality, and financial and physical constraints can only be considered through knowledge-based policies and professional practice. Sustainable resource management methods need to go beyond static input-output models and engage with the complexity of the interconnected Earth System. In other words, ensuring human health and well-being and sustainable development for all requires a change in mindset about managing resources – a Nexus Approach.
The United Nations University Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES) was established to help address this challenge. UNU-FLORES develops strategies to resolve pressing problems in the sustainable use and integrated management of environmental resources, particularly water, soil and waste. Focusing on the needs of the United Nations and its Member States, particularly developing countries and emerging economies, the Institute engages in research, capacity development, advanced teaching and training as well as dissemination of knowledge. In all activities, UNU-FLORES strives to fulfil its mission of advancing a Nexus Approach to the sustainable management of environmental resources.
UNU-FLORES was established in Dresden, Germany in 2012 with the support of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the Arts (SMWK) of the Free State of Saxony, Germany.
“Advancing the nexus approach to the sustainable management of environmental resources”
In line with the general mission of UNU to foster sustainable development, UNU-FLORES aims to contribute to the resolution of pressing challenges to the sustainable use and integrated management of environmental resources, such as water, soil and waste. UNU-FLORES strives to advance the development of integrated management strategies that take into consideration the impact of global change on the sustainable use of environmental resources. To this end, the Institute engages in research, teaching, advanced training, capacity development and dissemination of knowledge.
UNU-FLORES acts at the forefront of initiatives promoting a nexus approach to the sustainable management of water, soil and waste. The Institute supports the overall mission of UNU as a think tank for the United Nations and its member states, in particular addressing the needs of developing countries and emerging economies. In this role, UNU-FLORES aspires to become an internationally recognized hub and intellectual focal point promoting integrated management strategies.
Additionally, UNU-FLORES engages in policy-relevant research, postgraduate education and capacity development in a broad sense. The Institute attracts high-calibre students for postgraduate study and research programmes in cooperation with other research institutions. Furthermore, UNU-FLORES builds the capacity of future leaders in the area of environmental resources management and develops innovative concepts for target- and region-specific knowledge transfer.
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