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Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Practices as a Nature-Based Solution to Promote Water-Energy-Food Nexus Balance

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The objective of this study is to evaluate the contributions of ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) practices to the water–energy–food (WEF) nexus balance, design practical pathways, and analyze barriers towards achievement of EbA-WEF balance. An area case study and descriptive methods were used to analyze data collected from 50 community forests (CFs) spread across three regions in The Gambia. Extensive information from relevant literature sources was also referred to in this study. Fourteen priority EbA practices were established and categorized into four major groups based on their application similarities. Among the anticipated ecosystem services were enhanced water resource conservation, food and feed production, enhanced energy supply, and improved community livelihoods to enhance their resilience. Pathways on how each practice under the broad category contributes to water, energy, and food were developed to demonstrate how they individually and collectively contribute towards the nexus balance. Key enablers identified included a conducive policy framework, institutional support, diverse incentives, information, knowledge, and technology transfer, and climate and non-climate barriers were cited as impediments. The paper concludes by outlining recommendations to overcome the established barriers.

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