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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

A narrative feedback on the UN Sustainable Development Goals interactions with the Water – Energy – Land Nexus: A case study of the Pinios River Basin, Greece

Like many countries, in recent years Greece has focused on development projects in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and has made significant advances according to official SDG reports (Sachs et al.,2022). However, less attention has been paid to the effects that external stressors, such as the SDGs, have had on the Water Energy Land (WEL) Nexus. Crucially, this gap undermines future achievement of the SDGs as the WEL Nexus is a key precondition for continued sustainability. This research focuses on the geographic region of the Pinios River Basin (PRB) in Greece, which is a particularly good example of an area experiencing considerable difficulties as a result of the performance of ‘business as usual’ and SDG-oriented development projects. This research limits its focus to: SDG6, Clean Water and Sanitation; SDG7, Affordable and Clean Energy; SDG8, Decent Work and Economic Growth; and SDG 9, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. The purpose of the research is to a) analyse how Greece’s focus on the SDGs interacts with the WEL nexus, and to b) identify to what extent country-specific factors challenge the accomplishment of SDG goals. Drawing on official project reports, academic literature, and a range of secondary data these questions seek to identify information gaps and make useful recommendations for the SDG-WEL-Nexus-Nexus (SWNN) in the PRB region. This research has found that the successful achievement of proposals for Greece, the PRB, or any other region, must be based in the design of tailored solutions based on trustworthy data that could allow proper policy interventions and targeted investment. Furthermore, locally oriented perspectives must be linked to specific organisations to build integrative plans. The findings are aimed to strengthen the SDGs’ implementation in Greece by highlighting the need for integrated proposals that pay sufficient attention to the sustainable and efficient use of resources; and the accomplishment of the most important goals from the region such as economic growth.


Course Overview


The need to engage in better problem definition through careful dialogue with all stakeholder groups and a proper recognition of context.


An ability to work with specialists from other disciplines and professional groups acknowledging that technical innovation and business skills also must be understood, nurtured and combined as precursors to the successful implementation of sustainable solutions.


An understanding of mechanisms for managing change in organisations so future engineers are equipped to play a leadership role.


An awareness of a range of assessment frameworks, sustainability metrics and methodologies such as Life Cycle Analysis, Systems Dynamics, Multi-Criteria Decision making and Impact Assessment.