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Open AccessArticle

The Development of a Framework for the Integrated Assessment of SDG Trade-Offs in the Sundarban Biosphere Reserve

1
School of Engineering, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
2
Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK
3
Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Kräftriket 2B, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
4
School of Oceanographic Studies, Jadavpur University, Jadavpur, Kolkata 700032, India
5
School of Geography and Environmental Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: G. Paul Kemp and John W. Day
Water 2021, 13(4), 528; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040528
Received: 23 December 2020 / Revised: 9 February 2021 / Accepted: 13 February 2021 / Published: 18 February 2021
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: delta; sustainable development; SDG; integrated assessment; India; mangrove; socio-ecological systems; integrated assessment modeling; climate change delta; sustainable development; SDG; integrated assessment; India; mangrove; socio-ecological systems; integrated assessment modeling; climate change
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MDPI and ACS Style

Marcinko, C.L.J.; Nicholls, R.J.; Daw, T.M.; Hazra, S.; Hutton, C.W.; Hill, C.T.; Clarke, D.; Harfoot, A.; Basu, O.; Das, I.; Giri, S.; Pal, S.; Mondal, P.P. The Development of a Framework for the Integrated Assessment of SDG Trade-Offs in the Sundarban Biosphere Reserve. Water 2021, 13, 528. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040528

AMA Style

Marcinko CLJ, Nicholls RJ, Daw TM, Hazra S, Hutton CW, Hill CT, Clarke D, Harfoot A, Basu O, Das I, Giri S, Pal S, Mondal PP. The Development of a Framework for the Integrated Assessment of SDG Trade-Offs in the Sundarban Biosphere Reserve. Water. 2021; 13(4):528. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040528

Chicago/Turabian Style

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; Mondal, Partho P. 2021. "The Development of a Framework for the Integrated Assessment of SDG Trade-Offs in the Sundarban Biosphere Reserve" Water 13, no. 4: 528. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040528

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