The MENA Region Initiative As a Model of NEXUS Approach and Renewable Energy Technologies (MINARET) aims to address the unique sustainability challenges and opportunities of the MENA region by increasing local and regional sustainability capacities using the synergies between renewable energy technology and efficiency, water management, and food security.
The 4-year project kicked off in the first quarter of 2017 to be implemented in Jordan, Tunisia and Lebanon.
The MINARET project intends to build the municipality’s resilience to climate change through adopting renewable energy resources and energy efficiency, water management techniques and food security. This is in addition to strengthening institutional capacities of the relevant governmental authorities involved in the project through promoting policy dialogue and implementing capacity building programmes as well as promoting inter-municipal regional cooperation to enhance good governance and equitably dealing with the needs and human rights. The project also seeks to reinforce the role of women, youth and marginalized groups in developing and implementing NEXUS approach. The last objective of the project, which is the main topic of this concept paper, is to develop a MENA dialogue online platform and website focusing on knowledge sharing, education, and lesson learned at the national and regional policy levels.
NEXUS theory is that water, energy, and food security on a global level can be achieved through integrates management and governance across the three sectors.
The project partners include the Royal Scientific Society/National Energy Research Center (RSS/NERC), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Future Pioneers for Empowering Communities (FPEC)
The project is aligned with the Swedish International Development Cooperation’s (SIDA) strategy and its goals of environmental improvement, reduced climate impact and increased resilience to environmental impacts, climate change and natural disasters. The project also embraces five of the UN Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 5- Gender equality; SDG 6-Water; SDG 7- Affordable and clean energy; SDG 11-Sustainable cities and communities and SDG 13-Climate action. 
The project is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation (SIDA)


The Water-Energy-Food Nexus is a useful concept to describe and address the complex and interrelated nature of our global resource systems, on which we depend to achieve different social, economic and environmental goals. In practical terms, it presents a conceptual approach to better understand and systematically analyze the interactions between the natural environment and human activities, and to work towards a more coordinated management and use of natural resources across sectors and scales. This can help us to identify and manage trade-offs and to build synergies through our responses, allowing for more integrated and cost-effective planning, decision-making, implementation, monitoring and evaluation (FAO, 2014).
Across the Water-Energy-Food nexus there are a number of critical challenges (nexus hotspot), each with their own focal point, scale and stakeholders, some focus on food security on a national scale, while others seek to address renewable energy deployment in a specific region, so it is a challenge to find a one-size-fits all model capable of capturing these resource interactions and trade-offs.
Water, energy, and food security are complex sectors on their own but they become even more complicated when their interactions begin to be studied. Rather than view the interrelatedness of the water, energy and food security sectors as a hindrance, their relationships should be used as an opportunity to tackle development issues with a multi-sectoral approach. The Water, Energy and Food Security (WEF) Nexus approach aims to understand how of each of these three sectors relates to the other two and how this understanding can be used to make policy decisions that promote sustainable development and poverty reduction (Bizikova, Roy, Swanson, Venema, & McCandless, 2013).
The connection between water, energy and food security may seem apparent in some cases, for example, agriculture is a main user of water and energy and water can be used as an energy source to power food production processes.In other cases, the link between the sectors may more discrete, for example, does an increase in the production of biofuels affect a country’s food security? (Bizikova, Roy, Swanson, Venema, & McCandless, 2013). Similarly, advances in one sector may lead to degradation of the others. The inefficient use of water for agriculture can lead to the over withdrawal of groundwater, which may lead to food insecurity in the future. The Nexus approach is more than technological advances; it requires collaboration across ministries, different levels of government and international cooperation. Reliable and effective governance is critical to the nexus approach. A crucial aspect of effective governance is the engagement of participatory approaches. Participatory approaches, including stakeholder involvement, and monitoring and evaluation of community responses, are critical to ensuring that the priorities of those affected by policies are being met.

Royal Scientific Society (RSS)

Born out of the great hearts and spirit of His Majesty the Late King Hussein and HRH Prince Hassan in 1970, the Royal Scientific Society (RSS) aims to be the knowledge leader for science and technology locally and regionally. The RSS uses excellent scientific and engineering research to power economic development and social progress.

HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan serves as the President of the Royal Scientific Society and is greatly recognised for her work in promoting various scientific endeavours on a local and international level.

The Royal Scientific Society (RSS) is the largest applied research institution, consultancy, and technical support service provider in Jordan, and is a regional leader in the fields of science and technology.

Supported by more than 500 scientists, researchers, technical support staff, highly skilled management and faculty, the RSS has always been recognized as a local, regional and international research and development hub.

RSS provides expert testing services via 38 specialized locally and internationally accredited laboratories and prides itself on offering both the public and private sectors a unique scientific resource and a wide range of project expertise.

RSS proactively guides, supports and strengthens large governmental research projects and commercial incubators for both small and medium enterprises. Industrial firms contract RSS to assess potential impacts on the environment and to recommend practical solutions to minimize and control pollutants. RSS conducts standardized laboratory inspections on many food items consumed daily by Jordanians.

Royal Scientific Society / National Energy Research Center

NERC is one of the main institutions in The Royal Scientific Society (RSS). RSS is a non-profit NGO established in 1970. It is the largest applied research institution, consultancy, and technical support service provider in Jordan, and is a regional leader in the fields of science and technology. It is aiming to build and strengthen scientific and engineering research in the areas of greatest strategic value to Jordan’s long-term competitiveness and development. The National Energy Research Center (NERC) was established in 1998 for the purposes of research, development and training in the fields of new renewable energy and the promotion of energy conservation in various sectors.

This centre was established to perform the following tasks and responsibilities:

  • Reducing the energy burden by improving methods, incentives and advisory services for efficient energy use, to decrease total energy cost on the national level and to protect the environment.
  • Educating Jordanian and regional engineers and technicians by holding training courses, seminars and workshops to enhance and develop local technical qualifications and experiences necessary for the use of new and renewable energies, in addition to energy efficiency.
  • Effectively performing studies, research, and experimental projects in the field of using the local new and renewable energy sources like oil shale, wind energy, solar energy, bio-mass, and geothermal, to increase their contribution to satisfying the Kingdom’s energy needs.

International Union for Conservation of Nature

IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization, with almost 1,300 government and NGO Members and more than 15,000 volunteer experts in 185 countries. Almost 1,000 workers in 45 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO, support our work and private sectors around the world.

IUCN work focuses on valuing and conserving nature, ensuring effective and equitable governance of its use, and deploying nature-based solutions to global challenges in climate, food and development. IUCN supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the world, and brings governments; NGOs, the UN and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice.

IUCN is a great added value to the implementation of this project, benefiting from its wide network and members operating in the targeted countries, in order to foster the Regional Dimension and ensure integrated and comprehensive implementation.

Horizons For Green Development

Horizons for Green Development (HFGD) is a Jordanian non-profit organization established in 2014 committed to empowering communities through sustainable development. As climate change heavily impacts our natural resources our mission is to contribute to alleviating water shortages, increased use of renewable energy and energy efficiency and improved food securities.

Close interaction with vulnerable societies helps us understand needs and gaps to better serve citizens. Civic engagement, initiating dialogue, strengthening capacities, income generating interventions, awareness and introduction of innovative solutions are jointly mobilized to act as change agents and improve thousands of lives. Advocacy and lobbying for improved national legislation and policies are also inextricably incorporated throughout our programs through the close interaction with decision makers at central and local levels.

Our policies include safeguarding, gender mainstreaming, anti-corruption, transparency, CRM, and whistle-blowing.

Horizons works in Jordan and in Tunisia

    Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency – Sida

    Sida is a government agency working on behalf of the Swedish parliament and government, with the mission to reduce poverty in the world. Through their work and in cooperation with others, they contribute to implementing Sweden’s Policy for Global Development (PGU).

    They work in order to implement the Swedish development policy that will enable poor people to improve their lives. Another part of their mission is conducting reform cooperation with Eastern Europe, which is financed through a specific appropriation. The third part of their assignment is to distribute humanitarian aid to people in need of assistance.

    Funded by


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