The Nexus Game is presented to the Department of International Law of ENU

Publication date: 25 April 2024

Astana, Kazakhstan – On April 16, 2024, the Department of Regional Studies of the Faculty of International Relations and the Department of International Law of the Faculty of Law of the L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University jointly held the Nexus Game to better understand the basics of water, energy and food resources management in order to achieve sustainable development.

The game was attended by teachers, undergraduates and students of the Departments of Regional Studies and International Law, as well as foreign undergraduates and students from Turkey, Russia and Tajikistan. According to the game rules, the students were divided into two teams.

The full version of the Nexus game takes approximately 5 hours, during which a simulation of five different scenarios is played out. The project team adapted the game to a 2-hour format, where they managed to beat only 1 scenario: upstream and downstream countries make investment decisions in rainy and dry periods.

The game clearly illustrated the problems and conflicts between the countries located upstream and downstream of the river. The students were able to put themselves in the place of the downstream countries, which were not ready to put up with the pollution of water resources coming from the upstream countries. The analysis of the situation between the training parties clearly showed that rational decisions can be made through joint efforts.

“The Nexus Game allows you to apply theoretical knowledge in practice, teaches team building and the ability to solve conflict situations. We have a lot of disciplines at the faculty in which it can be applied,” said Roza Akshalova, Acting Head of the Department of International Law, L.N. Gumilyov ENU.

Students not only assumed the role of ministers of agriculture, energy and water resources for the first time, but also realized the need to come to a compromise between the water, energy and food sectors in order to make effective decisions. The game was presented for the first time and allowed to present the concept of the “water-energy-food” approach in an accessible interactive format. The evaluation of the event showed that the students, although they were not familiar with the Nexus approach before, were actively involved in the process with interest.

Brief reference

The Nexus Simulation was developed by the Centre for Systems Solutions in collaboration with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and the “Sustainable Energy for All” Initiative. The history of its implementation in the Central Asian region began in 2018 within the framework of the EU project "Nexus Dialogue in Central Asia" implemented by CAREC. The game represents a facilitated process of playing 5 different scenarios for developing the territories upstream and downstream while addressing water needs of population, industry and agriculture and taking into account climate change challenges. Currently, the Nexus Game is actively promoted by CAREC in universities, academies, basin organizations and media in Central Asia with with funding from the EU and USAID.

Additional information: Ludmila Kiktenko, Environmental Management Program Manager, CAREC,   



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