Elsevier,

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 75, August 2017, Pages 393–401

This article discusses how the SDGs can be used to motivate investments in Renewable Energy (RE) in Africa. Using the SDGs as a benchmark for inclusive and sustainable growth the synergy effects provided by RE are identified and an analysis of possible leverage points, available instruments and involved actors shows that there remains a large additional potential. The authors argue that expansion of Renewable Energy supports the fulfillment of at least 10 of the 17 SDGs.
Elsevier,

World Development, Volume 96, August 2017, Pages 359-374

This article reviews the evidence and outcomes of Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) Schemes in achieving environmental objectives and socio-economic co-benefits in varying contexts. These schemes, which offer incentives to land users to protect or enhance environmental or ecological services, are subject to refreshed analysis in this article. SDG 15 targets A and B are specifically concerned with financial incentives for environmental protection and conservation.
Elsevier,

Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volumes 26–27, June 2017, Pages 77-83

Spatial distribution of deforestation observed in 1988–2004 and 2005–2014, including the main territorial units (agrarian settlements) created prior to 2004 and subsequently, along with key transportation infrastructure (paved roads and ports).
In the Brazilian Amazon, environmental considerations have not been adequately incorporated into long-term land use planning and this failure has partly been due to the complexities of the country’s existing inter-sectorial institutional arrangements. The authors point out the major challenges for the balance between of use of natural resources under a capital-driven agenda and the needs and aspirations of large and widely distributed populations throughout the Amazon region, which could have an important role in sustainability. This article demonstrates the multidiscilpinary nature of the SDGs by exploring the interconnectedness of economic development and environmental concerns.
Land Degradation (LD) in socio-environmental systems negatively impacts sustainable development paths. This paper provides an in-depth investigation of changes in biophysical and socioeconomic conditions of agricultural districts over time with the objective to assess local-scale spatial diversification in the degree of land susceptibility to degradation, taken as a proxy of desertification risk, related to SDG 15 (life on land).
Elsevier,

Sustainable Cities and Society, Volume 31, 2017, Pages 12-25

Urbanization is transforming human society in many ways. Besides all the obvious benefits, it also brings negative impacts such as the well-documented urban heat island (UHI) effect and the magnified human heat stress. One way to reduce human heat stress is to increase vegetation density in urban areas, because they can provide evatranspiration and shading benefits. This study investigated the impact of various trees on urban micrometeorological conditions in both open space and high density settings, and how they regulate outdoor thermal comfort contributing to SDGs 11 and 15. This study suggests that urban trees should be planted strategically to improve human thermal comfort as an integral part of all modern urban developments.
Using newly-released and globally available high-resolution remote sensing data on forest loss, the authors update the assessment of the cross-country determinants of deforestation in developing countries. Agricultural trade, relatively neglected to date, is found to be one of the main factors causing deforestation. Insights into the relationship between the levels of forestation and trade are vital for understanding how to address SDG 15.2 to promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests.
Reducing large-scale deforestation in commodity frontiers remains a key challenge for climate change mitigation and the conservation of biodiversity. Public and private anti-deforestation policies have been shown to effectively reduce forest loss, but the conditions under which such policies get adopted are rarely examined. This paper proposes a set of conditions for the adoption of effective anti-deforestation policies. Such conditions will help to advance SDG 15.2 to promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests and halt deforestation.
This is the first global quantitative assessment of how humanity is negatively affecting Natural World Heritage Sites (NWHS) by analysing human footprint and forest loss . The lessons being learnt from this research on NWHS is clearly related to how we need to protect our natural ecosystems, directly advancing knowledge for SDG 15, which is about the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems. This article has also won the February 2017 Atlas award.
This is a timely article with potential to tackle multiple fronts of sustainable development with regards to agricultural intensification and green revolution which are currently taking precedence in most developing countries as a means of boosting productivity and ensuring food security. Given the high dependence of the modern global food production system on the continuous supply of commercial phosphorus (P) fertilizers, this study presents a detailed, methodical, and up to date assessment of the key sustainability challenges for the global P resource, and highlights their implications for global food security. This article addresses SDG 2; SDG 12; SDG 14 and SDG 15.
Constructing and maintaining transportation infrastructure is very resource intensive and can have negative impacts on the environment. Reviewing geotechnical engineering in transport infrastructure highlights the transformation in the past twenty years to using more sophisticated technologies integrating sustainability principles. SDG target 11.2 aims to provide sustainable transport systems, which this article focuses on, in particular activities relevant to sustainable earthwork construction aimed at minimising the use of energy and production of CO2.

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