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Special Issue "The Future of Nature: Alternative Approaches to Sustainable Development"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainability, Biodiversity and Conservation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2022 | Viewed by 328

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ryan M Yonk
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
American Institute for Economic Research, Berkshire County, MA, USA
Interests: environmental economics and policy; public choice; rural policy
Dr. Veeshan Rayamajhee
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Center for the Study of Public Choice and Private Enterprise, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58105, USA
Interests: climate adaptation; food and energy security; environmental externalities

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Academics and policymakers draw diverse views on what the future of nature and the natural world should look like. Discussion of what, if anything, should be done to protect and conserve the natural world has become a source of both academic discussion and policy debate. While there is consistent agreement that conservation is desirable, little agreement exists among policymakers about how to do so. In practice, the desire to conserve the natural world has manifested itself through proposed policy solutions that focus on the use of regulatory rules or improved social planning. A wide literature explores these solutions in some detail. In practice, however, these approaches face stiff resistance in policy implementation since they are often viewed as conflicting with goals to increase standards of living and economic development.

Much has been written on how these approaches to sustainability can lead to better outcomes for the natural world, and some scholars have sought to explore how policy might be crafted to avoid the most severe trade-offs between development and improved environmental outcomes. Despite these attempts, the broader sustainable development literature has underexplored the potential of voluntary alternatives and other governance mechanisms to accomplish both development and environmental goals absent large scale state intervention.

Among those that explored the possibility of alternative approaches, many based their exploration on Elinor Ostrom’s work on the emergence of governance institutions and polycentricity. We hope that this special issue will find additional applications and extensions of that work. Complementing Ostrom’s approach is an emergent thread of literature on free market environmentalism, which explores how market forces might be used to achieve sustainable development. We invite submissions that extend these literatures as well as others that explore alternative approaches to sustainable development and help to better address the potential trade-offs between development and conserving the natural world.

Dr. Ryan M Yonk
Dr. Veeshan Rayamajhee
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • conservation
  • sustainable development
  • polycentricity
  • environmental policy
  • free market environmentalism

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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