Stakeholders analysis and engagement to address Water-Ecosystem-Food Nexus challenges in Mediterranean environments: a case study in Italy

Published: 25 October 2023
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Authors

  • Valentina Baratella valentina.baratella@crea.gov.it Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e l’Analisi dell’Economia Agraria, Centro Agricoltura e Ambiente, Rome, Italy.
  • Tiziana Pirelli Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e l’Analisi dell’Economia Agraria, Centro di Politiche e Bioeconomia, Rome, Italy.
  • Raffaele Giordano Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) - Istituto di Ricerca sulle Acque (IRSA), Bari, Italy.
  • Alessandro Pagano Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) - Istituto di Ricerca sulle Acque (IRSA), Bari, Italy.
  • Ivan Portoghese Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) - Istituto di Ricerca sulle Acque (IRSA), Bari, Italy.
  • Manuel Bea Asociación ECOADAPTA, Madrid, Spain.
  • Estrella López-Moya Asociación ECOADAPTA, Madrid, Spain.
  • Antonella Di Fonzo Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e l’Analisi dell’Economia Agraria, Centro di Politiche e Bioeconomia, Rome, Italy.
  • Stefano Fabiani Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e l’Analisi dell’Economia Agraria, Centro di Politiche e Bioeconomia, Rome, Italy.
  • Silvia Vanino Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e l’Analisi dell’Economia Agraria, Centro Agricoltura e Ambiente, Rome, Italy.

The Water-Ecosystems-Food Nexus is a powerful framework developed for analyzing complex interlinkages among natural resource domains and overcoming “siloed” management practices. Multi-actor participatory approaches are increasingly recognized in Nexus research as the most effective way to identify trade-off solutions between divergent interests. Despite this acknowledged potential, the active engagement of stakeholders for the co-creation of knowledge is still limited to date, missing the opportunity for innovation processes and policy designs to be grounded in context-specific knowledge and experiences. This paper outlines the methodological framework developed to integrate stakeholder analysis and participatory tools for exploring Nexus challenges in a pilot area in Tarquinia, Italy, where a multi-stakeholder group was set up encompassing several categories at different levels, from policymakers and authorities to farmers and other end users. Systematic methodologies to target, analyze, and actively engage stakeholders were applied and multidomain participatory tools were developed, i.e., Stakeholder Analysis and Mapping, Learning and Action Alliance, Participatory System Dynamic Modelling, which broaden the agreement on potential locally-tailored solutions for sustainable farming practices and integrated management of natural resources. Mutual learning activities, tapping into actors’ deep understanding of specific local dynamics, served to better frame the complexity of the Nexus and build a common understanding of local societal challenges as well as of potential innovations in farming practices, land, and water management. The methodological innovation of integrating stakeholder mapping and analysis with relevant spatial information from participatory activities, provides the fundamental baseline for spatially explicit scenario analysis in the area, ultimately increasing the relevance and transferability of the Nexus findings.

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How to Cite

Baratella, V., Pirelli, T., Giordano, R., Pagano, A., Portoghese, I., Bea, M., López-Moya, E., Di Fonzo, A., Fabiani, S., & Vanino, S. (2023). Stakeholders analysis and engagement to address Water-Ecosystem-Food Nexus challenges in Mediterranean environments: a case study in Italy. Italian Journal of Agronomy, 18(4). https://doi.org/10.4081/ija.2023.2200