Perspectives

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  • Moving from a glacial-hydrological focus to a social-ecological perspective of the wider catchment hydrology can improve the assessment of mountain water security. Such a shift can help in the development of context-specific and transformational adaptation strategies to changes in the mountain cryosphere.

    • Fabian Drenkhan
    • Wouter Buytaert
    • Christian Huggel
    Perspective
  • Minerals are essential to human development, from toothpaste to building materials, but are often seen as an impediment to sustainable development. This narrative must change to ensure sustainable and equitable access to minerals for the globe.

    • Daniel M. Franks
    • Julia Keenan
    • Degol Hailu
    Perspective
  • Sustainable agrifood systems are critical to redefining the interactions of humanity and nature in the twenty-first century. This Perspective presents an agenda and examples for the comprehensive redesign of agrifood systems according to principles of sufficiency, regeneration, distribution, commons and care.

    • Steven R. McGreevy
    • Christoph D. D. Rupprecht
    • Masashi Tachikawa
    Perspective
  • Little is known about the potential of digital twins in the pursuit of sustainability. This study examines the likely benefits of digital twins in urban sustainability paradigms, their limitations when modelling socio-technical and socio-ecological systems and possible ways to attenuate them.

    • Asaf Tzachor
    • Soheil Sabri
    • Michele Acuto
    Perspective
  • In the face of growing calls to restrict risk analysis to narrow and specific events, this Perspectives argues instead for fully integrated frameworks that bring risk analysis into all aspects of resilience studies.

    • Tom McLeod Logan
    • Terje Aven
    • Roger Flage
    Perspective
  • Despite interventions, the widespread decline in plant biodiversity continues. Urban conservation gardening—that is, the cultivation of declining native plant species in public and private green spaces—can offer a viable approach to plant conservation, complementing traditional measures.

    • Josiane Segar
    • Corey T. Callaghan
    • Ingmar R. Staude
    Perspective
  • Scholars develop scenarios to identify the operational margins of system Earth, but focus less on how decisions are made that affect the system one way or another. Strategy games can help increase the representation of human agency in scenario development, allowing for deliberation among diverse worldviews.

    • Claude A. Garcia
    • Sini Savilaakso
    • Patrick O. Waeber
    Perspective
  • Agriculture can reduce environmental pressures and tackle poverty and related injustices. Showing examples of agricultural systems that do so while producing food and energy, this Perspective calls for a refocused debate away from the misleading ‘fuel versus food’ dichotomy.

    • Lisa A. Schulte
    • Bruce E. Dale
    • J. Gordon Arbuckle
    Perspective
  • Understanding interactions between people and nature is increasingly vital. This Perspective argues that synthesizing concepts and theories from diverse disciplines is crucial, and suggests a conceptual framework for unifying this effort and science.

    • Masashi Soga
    • Kevin J. Gaston
    Perspective
  • Well-being and resilience are considered related or even synergistic dimensions of sustainable development. This Perspective highlights how trade-offs emerging from narrow interpretations of resilience and well-being could threaten sustainable development outcomes.

    • Tomas Chaigneau
    • Sarah Coulthard
    • Katrina Brown
    Perspective
  • Agriculture’s ability to feed the world is limited by land and freshwater. This Perspective argues that scaling up seaweed aquaculture is needed to accommodate the 9+ billion people expected by 2050 and to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.

    • Carlos M. Duarte
    • Annette Bruhn
    • Dorte Krause-Jensen
    Perspective
  • Research on energy and climate change mitigation is disconnected from the advancement of well-being. This Perspective proposes to relate energy use to individual well-being through consumption by bridging across social sciences, energy–economic models and climate policy analysis.

    • Narasimha D. Rao
    • Charlie Wilson
    Perspective
  • A growing set of chemicals is emitted into the environment, making the protection of drinking water supplies challenging. This Perspective discusses a more holistic approach to the evaluation of drinking water quality that focuses on complex mixtures instead of a small set of regulated, well-known chemicals.

    • Paul J. Ferraro
    • Carsten Prasse
    Perspective
  • Biodiversity underpins the health and strength of ecosystems, but the complexity of those systems can be overwhelming for policymakers. This Perspective proposes a new framework for measuring biodiversity with an eye towards greater conservation.

    • C. A. Soto-Navarro
    • M. Harfoot
    • N. D. Burgess
    Perspective
  • Personal carbon allowances (PCAs) could support climate mitigation efforts but would need to be carefully designed to avoid impacts on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This Perspective discusses why the time is ripe for reconsidering PCAs and provides a set of SDG-based design principles for the future adoption of PCAs.

    • Francesco Fuso Nerini
    • Tina Fawcett
    • Paul Ekins
    Perspective
  • Divergent conceptions of living nature between conservationists and other groups of people can hinder progress to protect biodiversity. This Perspective reflects on the use of the concept of biodiversity, willingness to expand its ambit, and engagement with the various drivers of change.

    • Unai Pascual
    • William M. Adams
    • Esther Turnhout
    Perspective
  • The photocatalytic conversion of CO2 to fuels could contribute to a carbon-neutral energy cycle, but it works only when sunlight is available. Here the authors propose a persistent photocatalyst system that prolongs solar fuel production and discuss emerging trends and design strategies.

    • Joel Y. Y. Loh
    • Nazir P. Kherani
    • Geoffrey A. Ozin
    Perspective