Sustainability Science

http://link.springer.com/journal/11625

List of Papers (Total 136)

Sustainability assessment as problem structuring: three typical ways

Sustainability assessment (SA) is an increasingly popular term referring to a broad range of approaches to align decision-making with the principles of sustainability. Nevertheless, in public and private sectors sustainability results are still disappointing, and this paper reflects on this problem and proposes a way forward. We argue that, because sustainability issues are...

Digital sustainability: basic conditions for sustainable digital artifacts and their ecosystems

The modern age has heralded a shift from the industrial society, in which natural resources are crucial input factors for the economy, towards a knowledge society. To date, sustainability literature has treated knowledge—and in particular digital artifacts—mainly as a means to the end of achieving sustainable development. In this conceptual paper, we argue that digital artifacts...

Visualizing dynamic capabilities as adaptive capacity for municipal water governance

This study seeks to expand empirical research on how municipalities have adapted and innovated (or not) their water systems as a result of climate change. We analyze characteristics of water governance at the municipal scale in Oklahoma, USA. ArcMap 10.3 was used to build a qualitative geographic information system (GIS) based on fieldwork, including interviews and site...

Recognizing wetland ecosystem services for sustainable rice farming in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam

The increased rice production in the Mekong Delta during the last two decades has improved agricultural income and reduced poverty, but it has also had negative impacts on the environment and human health. This study shows that integrated rice–fish farming and integrated pest management strategies provide sustainable options to intensive rice farming, because of a more balanced...

Research priorities for managing the impacts and dependencies of business upon food, energy, water and the environment

Delivering access to sufficient food, energy and water resources to ensure human wellbeing is a major concern for governments worldwide. However, it is crucial to account for the ‘nexus’ of interactions between these natural resources and the consequent implications for human wellbeing. The private sector has a critical role in driving positive change towards more sustainable...

Resilience to climate change: from theory to practice through co-production of knowledge in Chile

In theory, building resilience is touted as one way to deal with climate change impacts; however, in practice, there is a need to examine how contexts influence the capacity of building resilience. A participatory process was carried out through workshops in regions affected by drought in Chile in 2014. The aim was to explore how resilience theory can be better applied and...

Human responses to social-ecological traps

Social-ecological (SE) traps refer to persistent mismatches between the responses of people, or organisms, and their social and ecological conditions that are undesirable from a sustainability perspective. Until now, the occurrence of SE traps is primarily explained from a lack of adaptive capacity; not much attention is paid to other causal factors. In our article, we address...

Projections of industrial water withdrawal under shared socioeconomic pathways and climate mitigation scenarios

We estimated global future industrial water withdrawal (IWW) by considering socioeconomic driving forces, climate mitigation, and technological improvements, and by using the output of the Asia–Pacific Integrated Model/Computable General Equilibrium (AIM/CGE) model. We carried out this estimation in three steps. First, we developed a sector- and region-specific regression model...

An applied methodology for stakeholder identification in transdisciplinary research

In this paper we present a novel methodology for identifying stakeholders for the purpose of engaging with them in transdisciplinary, sustainability research projects. In transdisciplinary research, it is important to identify a range of stakeholders prior to the problem-focussed stages of research. Early engagement with diverse stakeholders creates space for them to influence...

Integration: the key to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals

On 25 September, 2015, world leaders met at the United Nations in New York, where they adopted the Sustainable Development Goals. These 17 goals and 169 targets set out an agenda for sustainable development for all nations that embraces economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental protection. Now, the agenda moves from agreeing the goals to implementing and ultimately...

A people‐centred perspective on climate change, environmental stress, and livelihood resilience in Bangladesh

The Ganges–Brahmaputra delta enables Bangladesh to sustain a dense population, but it also exposes people to natural hazards. This article presents findings from the Gibika project, which researches livelihood resilience in seven study sites across Bangladesh. This study aims to understand how people in the study sites build resilience against environmental stresses, such as...

Transdisciplinary research in support of land and water management in China and Southeast Asia: evaluation of four research projects

Transdisciplinary research (TDR) aims at identifying implementable solutions to difficult sustainability problems and at fostering social learning. It requires a well-managed collaboration among multidisciplinary scientists and multisectoral stakeholders. Performing TDR is challenging, particularly for foreign researchers working in countries with different institutional and...

Population dynamics, delta vulnerability and environmental change: comparison of the Mekong, Ganges–Brahmaputra and Amazon delta regions

Tropical delta regions are at risk of multiple threats including relative sea level rise and human alterations, making them more and more vulnerable to extreme floods, storms, surges, salinity intrusion, and other hazards which could also increase in magnitude and frequency with a changing climate. Given the environmental vulnerability of tropical deltas, understanding the...

Co-evolution of wetland landscapes, flooding, and human settlement in the Mississippi River Delta Plain

River deltas all over the world are sinking beneath sea-level rise, causing significant threats to natural and social systems. This is due to the combined effects of anthropogenic changes to sediment supply and river flow, subsidence, and sea-level rise, posing an immediate threat to the 500–1,000 million residents, many in megacities that live on deltaic coasts. The Mississippi...

From poverty trap to ecosystem service curse

In spite of broad and positive expectations, payments for ecosystem services (PES) can bring about unexpected and negative consequences, especially in terms of their impacts on the well-being of local communities dependent on ecosystems. Based on numerous observations of recurring problems with PES, we put forward an ecosystem service curse hypothesis (Kronenberg and Hubacek in...

How researchers frame scientific contributions to sustainable development: a typology based on grounded theory

Given that research on sustainable development usually relates to real-world challenges, it requires researchers to align scientific knowledge production with concrete societal problem situations. To empirically explore how researchers frame scientific contributions when designing and planning projects, we conducted a qualitative study on land use–related projects based on the...

A global empirical typology of anthropogenic drivers of environmental change in deltas

It is broadly recognized that river delta systems around the world are under threat from a range of anthropogenic activities. These activities occur at the local delta scale, at the regional river and watershed scale, and at the global scale. Tools are needed to support generalization of results from case studies in specific deltas. Here, we present a methodology for...

Is shrimp farming a successful adaptation to salinity intrusion? A geospatial associative analysis of poverty in the populous Ganges–Brahmaputra–Meghna Delta of Bangladesh

The Ganges–Brahmaputra–Meghna delta of Bangladesh is one of the most populous deltas in the world, supporting as many as 140 million people. The delta is threatened by diverse environmental stressors including salinity intrusion, with adverse consequences for livelihood and health. Shrimp farming is recognised as one of the few economic adaptations to the impacts of the rapidly...

An assessment of urban vulnerability in the Amazon Delta and Estuary: a multi-criterion index of flood exposure, socio-economic conditions and infrastructure

The Amazon Delta and Estuary (ADE) is a region of continental and global ecological importance. Controversy, many of the basic infrastructure and services essential for quality of life and sustainable development of this delta are absent. Using a conceptual model to define socio-economic vulnerability in the urban ADE, a thorough assessment of indicators including sanitation...

Biodiversity and ecosystem services require IPBES to take novel approach to scenarios

What does the future hold for the world’s ecosystems and benefits that people obtain from them? While the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has identified the development of scenarios as a key to helping decision makers identify potential impacts of different policy options, it currently lacks a long-term scenario strategy. IPBES will...