ECOLOGY, ECONOMY AND SOCIETY - An integrated framework for achieving sustainable development goals around the world


September 15, 2018 - <>

Journal or Book Title: Ecology, Economy and Society - the INSEE Journal

Keywords: metacoupling, sustainability, SDG

Volume/Issue: 1 (2)

Page Number(s): 11-17

Year Published: 2018

One of the biggest global challenges is to achieve the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), agreed upon by 193 countries in 2015. Many institutions and scholars have called for creating and synthesising knowledge for meeting the 17 ambitious goals (e.g., no poverty, zero hunger, biodiversity conservation, climate mitigation). Some studies recognise synergies and trade-offs among the goals within a place (International Council for Science 2017), but little attention has been paid to SDG interrelationships among different places (Liu 2017). The United Nations states that SDGs should be achieved around the world. For example, SDG 1 aims 'to end poverty in all forms everywhere'. At present, the scores of SDGs are vastly different among countries (Sachs et al. 2017). For instance, the scores of SDG 2 (Zero hunger – 'End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture') range from 22 (Yemen) to 86 (Sweden) (Figure 1). The vast majority of countries in Africa (e.g., Sudan, Chad, and Niger) are among those with the lowest scores, together with some Asian countries (e.g., India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka) and Latin American countries (e.g., El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras). Japan, the US, and western European countries are among those with the highest scores on SDG 2. To achieve SDGs around the world, an integrated framework is required and many fundamental questions need to be answered. For instance, how can the SDGs be achieved everywhere? How do efforts for achieving the goals in one place offset or enhance goal-achieving efforts in other places? I first introduce the metacoupling framework and then apply the framework to illustrate the realisation of SDG 2.

DOI: 10.5751/ES-07082-1904-49

Type of Publication: Journal Article



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