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  • Pushpam Kumar, Chief Environmental Economist at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), talks to Nature Sustainability about the need to focus on wealth to achieve sustainability.

    • Monica Contestabile
    Q&A
  • The current definition of desertification excludes hyper-arid zones given their lack of economic activity. However, the 101 million people living there, ongoing land degradation associated with the use of groundwater for intensive agriculture and climate-change-induced aridity call for a revision of this definition.

    • Jaime Martínez-Valderrama
    • Emilio Guirado
    • Fernando T. Maestre
    Comment
  • Embedding behavioural, environmental and health considerations, alongside economic needs, into transport policies can pave the way to a sustainable system.

    Editorial
  • Governments are deciding on measures to help economies recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, but, as in previous crises, a narrow focus on fighting the recession could have adverse effects on the environment and health. We suggest that health and sustainability should be at the heart of the economic response.

    • Carla Guerriero
    • Andy Haines
    • Marco Pagano
    Comment
  • The effects of the COVID-19 outbreak are unfolding rapidly and governments around the world are seeking scientific advice to respond. Sustainability communities should be part of the process but need to up their efforts to engage with policy needs.

    Editorial
  • The world is not on track to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6 on clean water and sanitation by 2030. We urge a rapid change of the economics, engineering and management frameworks that guided water policy and investments in the past in order to address the water challenges of our time.

    • Claudia W. Sadoff
    • Edoardo Borgomeo
    • Stefan Uhlenbrook
    Comment
  • The global food system must become more sustainable. Digital agriculture — digital and geospatial technologies to monitor, assess and manage soil, climatic and genetic resources — illustrates how to meet this challenge so as to balance the economic, environmental and social dimensions of sustainable food production.

    • Bruno Basso
    • John Antle
    Comment
  • Energy fuels, and is central to, all physical and biological systems, including the human population and economy. Yet science has missed the significance of civilization’s growing energy consumption. The energetics of the global food system illustrate the counterintuitive aspects of present energy consumption circumstances.

    • John R. Schramski
    • C. Brock Woodson
    • James H. Brown
    Comment
  • A growing, increasingly affluent and urban human population is driving demand for more food grown in more-sustainable ways. This issue features a suite of articles highlighting how intensification of production on existing farmland and with fewer inputs is an aspirational and data-hungry challenge.

    Editorial
  • Measuring the full set of society’s assets is critical to the design of policies for a sustainable future.

    Editorial
  • Engineering approaches to wastewater treatment must aim for more than improved efficiency.

    Editorial
  • The assessment of land degradation and restoration by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services shows that land degradation across the globe is a wide and severe issue and is showing no signs of slowing down. This trend must be halted and reversed.

    • Louise Willemen
    • Nichole N. Barger
    • Robert Scholes
    Comment
  • Disadvantaged communities are vulnerable to the impacts of lead exposure risking further worsening of their living standards, an outcome likely to weaken global efforts towards the Sustainable Development Goals. We urge policy makers to adopt protection systems aimed at safeguarding the most threatened populations.

    • David O’Connor
    • Deyi Hou
    • Bruce P. Lanphear
    Comment
  • Changes in social and environmental conditions in the Western Highlands of Guatemala undermine food security and job opportunities. We describe how targeted assistance can build upon traditional agricultural systems to increase adaptive capacity, improve nutrition, provide jobs and thereby reduce pressures to migrate.

    • Keith L. Kline
    • Luis F. Ramirez
    • Virginia H. Dale
    Comment
  • While global efforts to tackle hunger and other food-related crises are stepping up, Nature Sustainability and the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability convene a new Expert Panel focusing on system changes and human agency.

    Editorial
  • A convening of leading international sustainability experts met for the first time in Potsdam, Germany, in March 2019 to re-think sustainability primarily as a societal challenge. Ortwin Renn and Solène Droy from the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies tell Nature Sustainability about the initiative.

    • Monica Contestabile
    Q&A