Economic development and the food-water-energy-environment nexus in Ukraine

A new collaborative research program between IIASA researchers and the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (NASU) has been set up to provide input to robust solutions and informed policies to ensure sustainable economic development pathways in Ukraine. A cornerstone of the program is the further development and application of the methodology of stochastic optimization, which is used to generate decisions under uncertainty in the food-water-energy-environment nexus.

In 2017, IIASA renewed its strategic collaboration with NASU on the topic of robust solutions for the food-water-energy-environment nexus, by committing to a five-year joint research program. IIASA scientists from the Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA), and Ecosystem Services and Management (ESM) Programs, will collaborate with colleagues from various other IIASA programs, and six NASU institutes (see list of collaborators). They will advance the methodology of stochastic optimization and its application to the integrated analysis of sustainable development of Ukraine. The program also involves policymakers and advisors to raise awareness of the critical dependencies within the food-water-energy-environment complex that has to be considered when planning sectorial development in the country.

To start the new collaboration cycle, the kick-off workshop and a series of follow-up meetings were organized in Kiev in September 2017. IIASA was represented by Yuri Yermoliev from ASA, and Tatiana Ermolieva from ESM. Future work on the program will build on the outputs of the 2012-2016 IIASA-NASU project, among which are recommendations for the 2015 Paris Agreement on Ukrainian energy sector reform, as well as contributions to a Ukrainian Common Cross-cutting Strategy of Agriculture Development.

The project addresses the challenge of building a methodological framework for decentralized optimization, to link agriculture, energy, and water sectorial models. The new framework will allow researchers to devise scenarios and produce recommendations in support of integrated policies in Ukraine that will reveal tradeoffs and synergies, notably under uncertainty, and at different spatial and temporal scales. This is to be based on earlier research [1].

In addition to research and science-to-policy applications, this collaborative project also undertakes capacity development activities. In 2017, a summer school was co-organized by NASU, Taras Shevchenko National University of Ukraine, Glushkov Institute of Cybernetics, and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. About 50 students from six countries attended the course and benefitted from lectures presented by leading international scientists from various fields, including advanced systems analysis, operations research, and stochastic optimization.


[1] Cano EL, Moguerza JM, Ermolieva T, & Yermoliev Y (2017). A strategic decision support system framework for energy-efficient technology investments. TOP 25 (2): 249-270.


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