Perspectives

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  • The water–energy–food nexus has provided a framework for comprehensive analysis, but this Perspective argues for adding forest studies to better integrate the needs and ecosystems of smallholders, especially in the Global South.

    • Felipe P. L. Melo
    • Luke Parry
    • Robin L. Chazdon
    Perspective
  • The natural capital concept is making way into government policy processes and the private sector, but different understandings of the approach might lead to misuse or omissions. In order to address this issue, a comprehensive framework for natural capital analysis and decision making is presented.

    • Ian J. Bateman
    • Georgina M. Mace
    Perspective
  • For seafood, concerns about food security often clash with those about sustainability. This Perspective proposes the reconciling concept of ‘sustainable commoditization’ and identifies actions to catalyse this for seafood in the Global South.

    • Ben Belton
    • Thomas Reardon
    • David Zilberman
    Perspective
  • Policies and discussion regarding sustainable goals has overlooked inland fisheries despite its importance for both food security and livelihoods. This Perspective looks at synergies between SDGs in regards to this critical food and economic service.

    • Abigail J. Lynch
    • Vittoria Elliott
    • Gretchen L. Stokes
    Perspective
  • This Perspective argues for a global research prioritization framework to advance sustainable intensification, an increase in agricultural yields on existing land and respecting ecosystem integrity, noting research gaps and suggesting priorities.

    • Kenneth G. Cassman
    • Patricio Grassini
    Perspective
  • Environmental policy often delays addressing problems. This Perspective defines such ‘stopgap measures’, considers examples, and applies to solar geoengineering a new framework for assessing stopgaps.

    • Holly Jean Buck
    • Laura Jane Martin
    • Shuchi Talati
    Perspective
  • Transitioning agriculture toward greater sustainability is vital. This Perspective argues for more-holistic consideration of organic agriculture in life cycle assessments, widely used to analyse environmental impacts.

    • Hayo M. G. van der Werf
    • Marie Trydeman Knudsen
    • Christel Cederberg
    Perspective
  • Increasing concerns about the impacts of palm oil cultivation have led to a growing focus on how to replace palm oil in commercial applications. This Perspective analyses replacement options—from a technical, environmental and economic angle—and how to make current cultivation practices more sustainable.

    • Sophie Parsons
    • Sofia Raikova
    • Christopher J. Chuck
    Perspective
  • Increasing urbanization will lead to a significant expansion of buildings and related infrastructure, major sources of greenhouse gas emissions. This Perspective discusses the possibility of constructing mid-rise urban buildings with engineered timber for long-term carbon storage and carbon emissions reduction.

    • Galina Churkina
    • Alan Organschi
    • Hans Joachim Schellnhuber
    Perspective
  • Research addressing sustainability issues is more effective if ‘co-produced’ by academics and non-academics, but definitions of co-production vary. This Perspective presents four knowledge co-production principles for sustainability research and guides on how to engage in co-productive practices.

    • Albert V. Norström
    • Christopher Cvitanovic
    • Henrik Österblom
    Perspective
  • Life cycle assessment (LCA) can be used to quantify the environmental sustainability performance of products. This Perspective analyses LCA studies of commercialized biochemicals produced through microbial fermentation to highlight gaps in coverage of environmental impacts and life cycle stages.

    • Ólafur Ögmundarson
    • Markus J. Herrgård
    • Peter Fantke
    Perspective
  • Advances in remote sensing have helped to understand the human drivers of land-use change globally, but have neglected the role of illicit transactions. This Perspective presents a framework to identify illicit land transactions, and an approach to link them to land uses using remotely sensed data.

    • Beth Tellman
    • Nicholas R. Magliocca
    • Peter H. Verburg
    Perspective
  • Land use is one of the most contested issues facing global conservation, but degraded lands should be the focus of governments and trusts to take and conserve uncontested areas for nature.

    • Zunyi Xie
    • Edward T. Game
    • Eve McDonald-Madden
    Perspective
  • Real-time control of combined sewer systems and green infrastructure can be used to reduce flooding. In this Perspective, the authors simulated the use of integrated stormwater inflow control to dynamically activate infrastructure in Copenhagen, Denmark, to substantially reduce combined sewage emissions.

    • Nadia Schou Vorndran Lund
    • Morten Borup
    • Peter Steen Mikkelsen
    Perspective