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Volume 1 Issue 7, July 2018

Technological water fixes

During the recent drought in California, shade plastic balls, pictured, were released in the Los Angeles reservoir to reduce evaporation. By using the water footprint indicator that covers the entire supply chain of the shade balls, Haghighi et al. assess the extent to which using them is sustainable.

See Haghighi et al.

Image: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo. Cover Design: Samantha Whitham.


  • Sustainability research is often interdisciplinary, presenting challenges and opportunities for authors, editors and reviewers. Recognizing and contributing to its hard-won value is vital to unlocking the potential of sustainability science and scholarship.



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Comment & Opinion

  • Academic enterprises seeking to support society’s efforts to achieve global sustainability need to change their legacy reward systems. We need new structures to foster knowledge that is deeply integrated across disciplines and co-produced with non-academic stakeholders.

    • Elena G. Irwin
    • Patricia J. Culligan
    • Stephanie Pfirman
  • The rapid growth of bottled water use in low- and middle-income countries, and its normalization as a daily source of drinking water, does not provide a pathway to universal access. Generous and sustained investment in centralized and community utilities remains the most viable means for achieving safe water access for all.

    • Alasdair Cohen
    • Isha Ray
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Research Highlights

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News & Views

  • At the global scale, indigenous lands are critical for biodiversity conservation and cultural survival. Yet at local, sub-national and national scales both are often threatened.

    • Richard Howitt
    News & Views
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  • Organic farming produces crops without using synthetic agrochemicals, but its success with pests is unclear. This study finds that organic farming promotes overall pest control but that varies by pest type, with lower pathogen pests, similar animal pests and higher weed pests than conventional agriculture.

    • Lucile Muneret
    • Matthew Mitchell
    • Adrien Rusch
  • Land management and ownership by Indigenous Peoples are critical components of conservation strategies, but information on these has previously never been aggregated. Here, global data is compiled to show that Indigenous Peoples have tenure rights or manage a quarter of the world’s land area and 40% of all protected areas and intact ecosystems.

    • Stephen T. Garnett
    • Neil D. Burgess
    • Ian Leiper
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Amendments & Corrections

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