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The development of a framework for the integrated assessment of SDG trade-offs in the Sundarban biosphere reserve

The development of a framework for the integrated assessment of SDG trade-offs in the Sundarban biosphere reserve
The development of a framework for the integrated assessment of SDG trade-offs in the Sundarban biosphere reserve
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their corresponding targets are significantly interconnected, with many interactions, synergies, and trade-offs between individual goals across multiple temporal and spatial scales. This paper proposes a framework for the Integrated Assessment Modelling (IAM) of a complex deltaic socio-ecological system in order to analyze such SDG interactions. We focused on the Sundarban Biosphere Reserve (SBR), India, within the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna Delta. It is densely populated with 4.4 million people (2011), high levels of poverty, and a strong dependence on rural livelihoods. It is adjacent to the growing megacity of Kolkata. The area also includes the Indian portion of the world’s largest mangrove forest––the Sundarbans––hosting the iconic Bengal Tiger. Like all deltaic systems, this area is subject to multiple drivers of environmental change operating across scales. The IAM framework is designed to investigate socio-environmental change under a range of explorative and/or normative scenarios and explore associated policy impacts, considering a broad range of subthematic SDG indicators. The following elements were explicitly considered: (1) agriculture; (2) aquaculture; (3) mangroves; (4) fisheries; and (5) multidimensional poverty. Key questions that can be addressed include the implications of changing monsoon patterns, trade-offs between agriculture and aquaculture, or the future of the Sundarbans’ mangroves under sea-level rise and different management strategies. The novel, high-resolution analysis of SDG interactions allowed by the IAM will provide stakeholders and policy makers the opportunity to prioritize and explore the SDG targets that are most relevant to the SBR and provide a foundation for further integrated analysis
Climate change, Delta, India, Integrated assessment, Integrated assessment modeling, Mangrove, SDG, Socio-ecological systems, Sustainable development
2073-4441
528
Marcinko, Charlotte L. J.
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Nicholls, Robert J.
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Daw, Tim M.
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Hazra, Sugata
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Hutton, Craig W.
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Hill, Chris T.
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Clarke, Derek
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Harfoot, Andy
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Basu, Oindrila
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Das, Isha
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Giri, Sandip
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Pal, Sudipa
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Mondal, Partho P.
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Marcinko, Charlotte L. J.
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Nicholls, Robert J.
4ce1e355-cc5d-4702-8124-820932c57076
Daw, Tim M.
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Hazra, Sugata
4da64f3d-2d1e-46b5-afa2-76ac5a0bb553
Hutton, Craig W.
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Hill, Chris T.
8a0a24b1-9e98-4106-bec8-8bd10cd5f8e5
Clarke, Derek
9746f367-1df2-4e0e-8d71-5ecfc9ddd000
Harfoot, Andy
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Basu, Oindrila
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Das, Isha
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Giri, Sandip
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Pal, Sudipa
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Mondal, Partho P.
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Marcinko, Charlotte L. J., Nicholls, Robert J., Daw, Tim M., Hazra, Sugata, Hutton, Craig W., Hill, Chris T., Clarke, Derek, Harfoot, Andy, Basu, Oindrila, Das, Isha, Giri, Sandip, Pal, Sudipa and Mondal, Partho P. (2021) The development of a framework for the integrated assessment of SDG trade-offs in the Sundarban biosphere reserve. Water, 13 (4), 528, [528]. (doi:10.3390/w13040528).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their corresponding targets are significantly interconnected, with many interactions, synergies, and trade-offs between individual goals across multiple temporal and spatial scales. This paper proposes a framework for the Integrated Assessment Modelling (IAM) of a complex deltaic socio-ecological system in order to analyze such SDG interactions. We focused on the Sundarban Biosphere Reserve (SBR), India, within the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna Delta. It is densely populated with 4.4 million people (2011), high levels of poverty, and a strong dependence on rural livelihoods. It is adjacent to the growing megacity of Kolkata. The area also includes the Indian portion of the world’s largest mangrove forest––the Sundarbans––hosting the iconic Bengal Tiger. Like all deltaic systems, this area is subject to multiple drivers of environmental change operating across scales. The IAM framework is designed to investigate socio-environmental change under a range of explorative and/or normative scenarios and explore associated policy impacts, considering a broad range of subthematic SDG indicators. The following elements were explicitly considered: (1) agriculture; (2) aquaculture; (3) mangroves; (4) fisheries; and (5) multidimensional poverty. Key questions that can be addressed include the implications of changing monsoon patterns, trade-offs between agriculture and aquaculture, or the future of the Sundarbans’ mangroves under sea-level rise and different management strategies. The novel, high-resolution analysis of SDG interactions allowed by the IAM will provide stakeholders and policy makers the opportunity to prioritize and explore the SDG targets that are most relevant to the SBR and provide a foundation for further integrated analysis

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Accepted/In Press date: 13 February 2021
Published date: 18 February 2021
Additional Information: Funding Information: Funding: This research was funded by NERC Grant NE/S012478/1, Formas Grant 2019-00045, and the UKIERI-DBT (Grant No. BT/IN/TaSE/70/SH/2018-19) under UK-India Education Research Initiative. Funding Information: Acknowledgments: We would like to acknowledge all stakeholders and local experts who participated in the project. Anurag Danda for enriching discussions on the Policy options in the Delta, Subhas Aacharya of the Sundarban Development Board for his contribution as important stakeholder of the SBR and Samiran Khorat for contributing to the preparation of climatic and agriculture data to be used in the integrated assessment. This research was funded under the “Towards a Sustainable Earth: Environment-human systems and the UN Global Goals” (TaSE) program in the project “Opportunities and trade-offs between the SDGs for food, welfare and the environment in deltas”. Funding was provided by NERC Grant NE/S012478/1, Formas Grant 2019-00045, and the UKIERI-DBT (Grant No. BT/IN/TaSE/70/SH/2018-19) under UK-India Education Research Initiative. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
Keywords: Climate change, Delta, India, Integrated assessment, Integrated assessment modeling, Mangrove, SDG, Socio-ecological systems, Sustainable development

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 446823
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/446823
ISSN: 2073-4441
PURE UUID: ada36430-a9ee-4e2d-9471-3086385dde33
ORCID for Charlotte L. J. Marcinko: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5369-3950
ORCID for Robert J. Nicholls: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9715-1109
ORCID for Craig W. Hutton: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5896-756X
ORCID for Derek Clarke: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5433-5258

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 23 Feb 2021 17:32
Last modified: 30 Oct 2023 02:47

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Contributors

Author: Tim M. Daw
Author: Sugata Hazra
Author: Craig W. Hutton ORCID iD
Author: Chris T. Hill
Author: Derek Clarke ORCID iD
Author: Andy Harfoot
Author: Oindrila Basu
Author: Isha Das
Author: Sandip Giri
Author: Sudipa Pal
Author: Partho P. Mondal

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