NATURE COMMUNICATIONS - Global transboundary synergies and trade-offs among Sustainable Development Goals from an integrated sustainability perspective


January 13, 2024 - Huijuan Xiao, Sheng Bao, Jingzheng Ren, <$authorEmail>, Song Xue, <>



Domestic attempts to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a country can have synergistic and/or trade-off effects on the advancement of SDGs in other countries. Transboundary SDG interactions can be delivered through various transmission channels (e.g., trade, river flow, ocean currents, and air flow). This study quantified the transboundary interactions through these channels between 768 pairs of SDG indicators. The results showed that although high income countries only comprised 14.18% of the global population, they contributed considerably to total SDG interactions worldwide (60.60%). Transboundary synergistic effects via international trade were 14.94% more pronounced with trade partners outside their immediate geographic vicinity than with neighbouring ones. Conversely, nature-caused flows (including river flow, ocean currents, and air flow) resulted in 39.29% stronger transboundary synergistic effects among neighboring countries compared to non-neighboring ones. To facilitate the achievement of SDGs worldwide, it is essential to enhance collaboration among countries and leverage transboundary synergies.



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