Volume 1 Issue 1 January 2018

Volume 1 Issue 1

Foresting degraded landscapes

Southwest China is home to communities, agriculture and dramatic landscapes (pictured), but overuse of the land and drought have eroded regions bordering Vietman, Laos and Myanmar. Yue et al. analyse vegetation changes resulting from massive ecological engineering efforts, which since 2000 have promoted new forest growth and associated carbon storage.

See Yue et al.

Image: Martin Brandt. Cover design: Samantha Whitham.


  • Editorial |

    Sustainability research provides significant insights into the ways people and the natural world are connected. It is the mission of Nature Sustainability to showcase this kind of understanding to help its way into policy, solutions and everyday debates.

Comment & Opinion

  • Comment |

    The study of cities needs to become more than the sum of its parts. An international Expert Panel investigates why, and how.

    • Michele Acuto
    • , Susan Parnell
    •  & Karen C. Seto


  • Feature |

    In the United States, urban agriculture is growing as a result of increased availability of unused land and innovative development; the growth of farms and community gardens improves the ability of community members to cope with social and environmental change. But what will make urban agriculture sustainable?

    • Lisa Palmer

Research Highlights

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Post-disaster reconstruction in situ is potentially good as it allows affected populations to start a new life within their community. But what if people would have preferred to move elsewhere?

    • Etienne Piguet
  • News & Views |

    Technological innovations have allowed exponential growth in the human population and economy, but can it continue? A new model combining population, culture, and innovation projects possible futures for humanity.

    • Joseph Robert Burger
  • News & Views |

    It is well known that electricity production from the combustion of fossil fuels is a major source of air pollutants and greenhouse gases. Now, research shows that large generation plants are not necessarily the worst emitters.

    • Pallav Purohit


  • Perspective |

    For natural capital like wetlands, biodiversity and land productive capacity, ‘no net loss’ is becoming a policy goal. This study highlights that the intended outcomes of no net loss policies can be very different depending on the reference scenario.

    • Martine Maron
    • , Susie Brownlie
    • , Joseph W. Bull
    • , Megan C. Evans
    • , Amrei von Hase
    • , Fabien Quétier
    • , James E. M. Watson
    •  & Ascelin Gordon


  • Brief Communication |

    A two-wave survey focused on 21 actions shows that the anticipation of a ‘feel-good’ effect is positively associated with proenvironmental behaviours over a four-week period. This association is found to be stronger for low-cost green choices.

    • Sander van der Linden
  • Brief Communication |

    Choosing products like recycled water, artificial meat and insect-based food is hindered by the disgust they elicit. This study finds that using a foreign language to describe such products can increase both their intended and actual consumption.

    • Janet Geipel
    • , Constantinos Hadjichristidis
    •  & Anne-Kathrin Klesse
  • Brief Communication |

    A balanced diet is vital for human health, and the Sustainable Development Goals codify this aim. This study finds that trade helps ensure the equitable distribution of food nutrients globally, with implications for international trade policies.

    • Stephen A. Wood
    • , Matthew R. Smith
    • , Jessica Fanzo
    • , Roseline Remans
    •  & Ruth S. DeFries
  • Article |

    Post-disaster reconstruction in hazard-exposed areas can increase social vulnerability if a disaster changes where people wish to live. In a post-tsunami zone in Indonesia, the authors find that many people wish to move to safer areas, causing housing prices to go up inland and the poor to live near the coast.

    • Jamie W. McCaughey
    • , Patrick Daly
    • , Ibnu Mundir
    • , Saiful Mahdi
    •  & Anthony Patt
  • Article |

    Since 2000, China has attempted to vegetate huge portions of eroded landscape in its south west, bordering Vietman, Laos, and Myanmar. This study finds that this ecological engineering is combating desertification as vegetation regrows and stores carbon.

    • Xiaowei Tong
    • , Martin Brandt
    • , Yuemin Yue
    • , Stephanie Horion
    • , Kelin Wang
    • , Wanda De Keersmaecker
    • , Feng Tian
    • , Guy Schurgers
    • , Xiangming Xiao
    • , Yiqi Luo
    • , Chi Chen
    • , Ranga Myneni
    • , Zheng Shi
    • , Hongsong Chen
    •  & Rasmus Fensholt
  • Analysis |

    After developing a unit-based air pollutants emission inventory of more than 30,000 fossil fuel power plants operating worldwide in 2010, the authors find that retiring or implementing controlling measures on coal-fired power plants, representing 0.8% of global capacity, could reduce PM2.5 emissions from coal-fired plants by up to 14.2%.

    • Dan Tong
    • , Qiang Zhang
    • , Steven J. Davis
    • , Fei Liu
    • , Bo Zheng
    • , Guannan Geng
    • , Tao Xue
    • , Meng Li
    • , Chaopeng Hong
    • , Zifeng Lu
    • , David G. Streets
    • , Dabo Guan
    •  & Kebin He
  • Analysis |

    Little is known about the water impacts of concrete production. This study quantifies this impact globally for 2012 and projects it to 2050. It also evaluates in which regions the impacts will be more severe, based on the availability of renewable water resources.

    • Sabbie A. Miller
    • , Arpad Horvath
    •  & Paulo J. M. Monteiro