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Volume 2 Issue 7, July 2019

Old channels to water security

Mountain water resources are increasingly threatened. This study finds that a 1,400-year-old system for diverting headwater streams onto Andean slopes later enhances downslope spring flows. Upscaling this for Lima, Peru, could increase dry-season flows by 7.5%.

See Ochoa-Tocachi et al.

Image: Musuq Briceño, CONDESAN. Cover Design: David Shand


  • More effective ways of connecting research programmes and initiatives on the ground will amplify the impact of many sustainability scholars and practitioners around the world.



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Comment & Opinion

  • Car bans could contribute to both climate change and air-quality goals. However, most car bans announced to date lack enforcement mechanisms and are therefore not bans at all. Here, we provide recommendations to design car bans as a more-effective policy tool for sustainability.

    • Patrick Plötz
    • Jonn Axsen
    • Till Gnann
  • The independent group of scientists (IGS) behind the forthcoming Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) have joined the ongoing negotiations in the lead-up to the September 2019 SDG Summit in New York. IGS co-chair Peter Messerli and IGS member Eeva Furman speak to Nature Sustainability about writing the report.

    • Monica Contestabile
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Research Highlights

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News & Views

  • The long-term role of mountains as water providers to lowlands is threatened by shrinking glaciers due to anthropogenic climate change. Modelling this dependence and uncovering past indigenous responses can inform adaptive responses.

    • Julio C. Postigo
    News & Views
  • Understanding how individuals shift to diets with much smaller ecological footprints may help us in persuading more people to change their habits and transition to more sustainable food systems. Online interactions provide important answers.

    • Christoph Trattner
    • David Elsweiler
    News & Views
  • It has long been observed that roads clear the way to deforestation in the tropics. Viewing deforestation scars in the Congo Basin from space, we can now model the impact roads have both inside and outside logging concessions.

    • Stéphane Couturier
    News & Views
  • Fairtrade and other voluntary sustainability standards are increasingly common in the food sector. Evidence shows that the benefits of such standards on the poorest people are minimal.

    • Miet Maertens
    News & Views
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  • Managing the interactions and impacts of scaled-up solar energy production will require understanding of the relationships between technological and ecological systems. This Perspective proposes a framework that could help engineer beneficial outcomes from an energy transition.

    • Rebecca R. Hernandez
    • Alona Armstrong
    • Daniel M. Kammen
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Amendments & Corrections

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