News & Comment

  • News & Views |

    Bee keeping is on the rise in cities. Beehive products can be used to trace the source and transport of metal contaminants by studying one of our favourite food stuffs — honey.

    • Mark Patrick Taylor
  • Q&A |

    Joyeeta Gupta, professor of development at the University of Amsterdam, and Paul Ekins, professor of resource policy at University College London, are co-chairs of United Nations Environment’s sixth Global Environment Outlook: Healthy Planet, Healthy People. They talk to Nature Sustainability about drafting the new report.

    • Ryan Scarrow
  • Editorial |

    Developing a culture of innovation is critical to a successful sustainable development strategy.

  • News & Views |

    Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can influence each other positively or negatively. Climate change, inequalities and irresponsible consumption and production currently stand in the way of meeting the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

    • Prajal Pradhan
  • Comment |

    The development of sewer systems hasn’t caught up with the urbanization speed in developing countries, with serious consequences for urban river water quality. The experience of urban river restoration in China can offer useful lessons to other countries in the Global South.

    • Zuxin Xu
    • , Jin Xu
    • , Hailong Yin
    • , Wei Jin
    • , Huaizheng Li
    •  & Zhen He
  • News & Views |

    Growing populations and climate change place new demands on agriculture. Intensive farming in ancient Hawai‘i demonstrates efficient and resilient land allocation.

    • Noa Kekuewa Lincoln
  • Editorial |

    Transforming human systems to achieve sustainability calls for holistic evidence of their multiple and interconnected facets.

  • Comment |

    Garrett Hardin’s Tragedy of the Commons put forward underdeveloped arguments that continue to be reflected in simplistic debates about the drivers and implications of demographic dynamics. It’s time to embrace the complexity that Hardin lacked in order to develop better-informed policy.

    • Lori M. Hunter
    •  & Aseem Prakash
  • News & Views |

    Commercial aircraft rely on liquid hydrocarbon fuels. Short-range all-electric aircraft have promise to reduce environmental impacts while remaining cost-competitive; however, they will require significant battery improvements.

    • Venkatasubramanian Viswanathan
    •  & B. Matthew Knapp
  • Comment |

    In order to address sustainability challenges, we posit that knowledge generation needs to move rapidly from a disciplinary linear ‘tree’ model to an interdisciplinary ‘web’ model. We show how such a shift is useful by looking at case studies in the context of water management.

    • Junguo Liu
    • , Kamaljit S. Bawa
    • , Thomas P. Seager
    • , Ganquan Mao
    • , Ding Ding
    • , Janice Ser Huay Lee
    •  & Janet K. Swim
  • News & Views |

    Land-use planning to protect tropical forests requires understanding the relative impact of alternative uses. Low-impact forest management is crucial to produce timber while conserving biodiversity.

    • Frits Mohren
  • Editorial |

    Designing policies to maintain human wellbeing within the limits of planet Earth is a daunting task, but scholars and policymakers should embrace the challenge now.

  • Comment |

    Policymakers and investors have perceived securing soil organic carbon as too difficult, with uncertain returns. But new technical, policy and financial opportunities offer hope for rapid progress.

    • Sonja Vermeulen
    • , Deborah Bossio
    • , Johannes Lehmann
    • , Paul Luu
    • , Keith Paustian
    • , Christopher Webb
    • , Flore Augé
    • , Imelda Bacudo
    • , Tobias Baedeker
    • , Tanja Havemann
    • , Ceris Jones
    • , Richard King
    • , Matthew Reddy
    • , Ishmael Sunga
    • , Moritz Von Unger
    •  & Matthew Warnken
  • Comment |

    Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals requires examining the impacts of health interventions across multiple sectors and identifying regions where health–development–environment conflicts are most likely. Doing this is important for ending the epidemic of malaria by 2030 alongside achieving other SDGs.

    • Christopher H. Trisos
    • , Steven M. Alexander
    • , Jessica A. Gephart
    • , Rajina Gurung
    • , Peter B. McIntyre
    •  & Rebecca E. Short
  • Comment |

    Researchers, stakeholders and funding organizations have embraced co-production of knowledge to solve sustainability problems. Research focusing on the practice of co-production can help us understand what works in what contexts and how to avoid potentially undesirable outcomes.

    • Maria Carmen Lemos
    • , James C. Arnott
    • , Nicole M. Ardoin
    • , Kristin Baja
    • , Angela T. Bednarek
    • , Art Dewulf
    • , Clare Fieseler
    • , Kristen A. Goodrich
    • , Kripa Jagannathan
    • , Nicole Klenk
    • , Katharine J. Mach
    • , Alison M. Meadow
    • , Ryan Meyer
    • , Richard Moss
    • , Leah Nichols
    • , K. Dana Sjostrom
    • , Missy Stults
    • , Esther Turnhout
    • , Catherine Vaughan
    • , Gabrielle Wong-Parodi
    •  & Carina Wyborn
  • Q&A |

    Toby Park leads the Energy and Sustainability work at the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) and talks with us about joint research agendas, co-production and communication of results.

    • Aiora Zabala
  • News & Views |

    Biofuels became controversial for compromising food production. Forest residue conversion to jet fuel is a second-generation biofuel that doesn’t compete with food. However, it has unexpected implications across the Sustainable Development Goals.

    • Sgouris Sgouridis
  • Editorial |

    Our expert panel on urban science has now delivered its much-awaited report, following more than a year of lively and intensive debate.

  • News & Views |

    Analyses of protein in our future food supply have focused on the need to reduce animal-based foods and increase plant-based foods. A new analysis describes a parallel possibility — producing and consuming less-considered options, including insect larva, algae and cultured meat.

    • Michael W. Hamm
  • Comment |

    Urban biodiversity is an unplanned species assemblage. Although promoting native biodiversity should be the primary goal, the built environment often contains optimal habitat for non-natives. With planning and research, we could use cities as semi-natural assurance colonies for endangered species.

    • H. Bradley Shaffer
  • News & Views |

    Current understanding is that electricity savings in green commercial buildings are low or even negligible. New research, based on a sophisticated analysis of detailed energy data, proves that they do save energy, decrease environmental damage and reduce peak electricity demand.

    • Matthaios Santamouris
  • Comment |

    The conservation movement has lost its critical edge by befriending agribusiness. With deforestation on the rise and a continuous roll-back of environmental protection, it is time to rethink this strategy.

    • Britaldo Soares-Filho
    •  & Raoni Rajão
  • News & Views |

    Behind pressing scientific questions of sustainability, unexplored areas of theoretical and mathematical knowledge await discovery. A fresh take on the notion of resilience provides a glimpse of what to expect.

    • Axel G. Rossberg
  • Q&A |

    Marinez Scherer is an expert in integrated coastal management and executive secretary of the Brazilian Sea Forum. Alberto Lindner is an expert in marine ecology and conservation. Both are at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil, and here discuss recent trends in marine and coastal science and policy in Brazil.

    • Aiora Zabala
  • Editorial |

    The country achieved impressive environmental and sustainability successes in the past. Now more than ever, scientists should focus on providing evidence to support policy that helps Brazil to continue doing so.

  • News & Views |

    Livestock production can pose challenges for populations of large wild mammals. Conservation failure isn’t a foregone conclusion, however, if integrated management for ranching and for wildlife benefits both.

    • Jacob R. Goheen
  • Editorial |

    Achieving food security is possible, if we better understand the complexity of the agricultural system and re-design practices accordingly.

  • News & Views |

    Are we making the best use of data in our efforts to protect the natural environment? A new study suggests that we could be doing much better.

    • Louie Rivers III
  • News & Views |

    A reliable power supply in developing countries can help socio-economic development efforts. Now research shows that it would also avoid significant environmental impacts.

    • Steven J. Davis
    •  & Jay Taneja
  • News & Views |

    Geoengineering is unproven and risky. Social science scholars explain why some are still investing in and pursuing geoengineering to address climate change, and the consequences this has for alternatives.

    • Jennifer E. Givens
  • Comment |

    Evidence-based approaches to sustainability challenges must draw on knowledge from the environment, development and health communities. To be practicable, this requires an approach to evidence that is broader and less hierarchical than the standards often applied within disciplines.

    • Edward T. Game
    • , Heather Tallis
    • , Lydia Olander
    • , Steven M. Alexander
    • , Jonah Busch
    • , Nancy Cartwright
    • , Elizabeth L. Kalies
    • , Yuta J. Masuda
    • , Anne-Christine Mupepele
    • , Jiangxiao Qiu
    • , Andrew Rooney
    • , Erin Sills
    •  & William J. Sutherland