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Our May issue is now live!

This month we feature a Focus on jobs and sustainability, groundwater vulnerability in Africa, sustainable metabolic cancer diagnosis, green hydrogen production and more.


  • Developing a more sustainable economic system will have substantial effects on employment. Some sectors will downsize and jobs will be lost while emerging industries will need new workforce and new skills. This focus features research and opinions exploring what it will take to transform the job market for a successful sustainability transition.

  • We are rapidly expanding our reach into Earth’s orbital space and beyond. It is now urgent to extend our notions of protecting a sustainable planet to a sustainable vision beyond Earth’s boundaries. This focus features opinions and perspectives on the impact space development is having, is likely to, and how it can ensure a more sustainable future in space and on Earth.

  • Since it was launched in 2018, the editorial team at Nature Sustainability has seen the level and quality of submissions grow steadily. But high submissions also carry a price as the journal’s editorial capacity cannot grow at the same pace. As a result, editors have reconsidered some editorial practices.

Nature Sustainability is a Transformative Journal; authors can publish using the traditional publishing route OR via immediate gold Open Access.

Our Open Access option complies with funder and institutional requirements.


  • While land use is often seen as a function of governance and economics, the role of culture is largely understudied. This study examines the cultural dynamics that play a role in a wide range of land-use outcomes globally

    • Leonie Hodel
    • Yann le Polain de Waroux
    • Rachael D. Garrett
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Reducing groundwater extraction to sustainable levels may have detrimental impacts on global food security. Improving rainfed water use efficiency and investments in agricultural research and development can ensure sustainable groundwater resources and food security into the future.

    • Nicostrato Perez
    • Vartika Singh
    • Karen G. Villholth
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Narco trafficking and subsequent counter-drug interdiction strategies can lead to loss of biodiverse forests, which are important habitats for resident and migratory bird species. This study evaluates how such activities can threaten the bird habitat in Central American forests.

    • Amanda D. Rodewald
    • Anna Lello-Smith
    • Erik A. Nielsen
    Brief CommunicationOpen Access
  • National and international policies have aimed to protect the quality of freshwater by mitigating agricultural nitrogen emissions. However, the nitrogen legacy in groundwater must be accounted for when mitigating the impacts of nitrogen in watersheds.

    • Xiaochen Liu
    • Arthur H. W. Beusen
    • Alexander F. Bouwman
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Meeting future energy demands in Africa will require expanded hydropower capacity, but the dams’ impacts on rivers, their emissions and alternative energy options call for careful planning. This study performs multi-objective energy system modelling for more sustainable dam expansion from the present to 2050.

    • Angelo Carlino
    • Rafael Schmitt
    • Andrea Castelletti
  • Effective water management requires reliable data on streamflow, but that hinges on the coverage provided by stream gauges. This study shows how current gauge networks fail to provide adequate coverage and explores how modified networks could support dam operation, biodiversity conservation and climate monitoring.

    • Lucy Andrews
    • Theodore E. Grantham
  • The pervasive contamination of ecosystems with active pharmaceutical ingredients poses a serious threat to biodiversity, ecosystem services and public health. Urgent action is needed to design greener drugs that maintain efficacy but also minimize environmental impact.

    • Tomas Brodin
    • Michael G. Bertram
    • Gorka Orive
  • Transitioning to a more sustainable economic system hinges on creating jobs in support of greener activities, with challenges for incumbent workers. A suite of articles highlights the need for more sustainable jobs and how to overcome the associated research gaps and political obstacles.

  • Although research has consistently shown that managing natural resources more sustainably is both feasible and beneficial for jobs and livelihoods, the perception that the green transition leads to job losses prevails. We recommend strategies for wider and better communicating evidence, to decision-makers across the board, about what is needed to reap job benefits from a green transition.

    • Ulrike Lehr
  • Scaling up adoption of green technologies in energy, mobility, construction, manufacturing and agriculture is imperative to set countries on a sustainable development path, but that hinges on having the right workforce, argues Jonatan Pinkse.

    • Jonatan Pinkse
    World View
  • Apprehensions about job losses in incumbent industries can hold up sustainability transformations unless policymakers bolster efforts towards job reskilling programmes, argues Marko Hekkert.

    • Marko Hekkert
    World View
  • As carbon capture and sequestration enter the mainstream, governments and developers grapple with the long-term liability for sequestered carbon. A multi-tiered framework with public–private sharing of risk can help promote the safe and timely deployment of this vital decarbonization technology.

    • Felix Mormann

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