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Recurring patterns of SDG interlinkages and how they can advance the 2030 Agenda

The authors reviewed 51 scientific articles on SDG interlinkages to provide six recommendations for science to make interlinkages knowledge more accessible and for decision-makers to systematically use this knowledge.

Therese Bennich, Åsa Persson, Raphaëlle Beaussart / Published on 26 October 2023

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Citation

Bennich, T., Persson, Å., Beaussart, R., Allen, C., & Malekpour, S. (2023). Recurring patterns of SDG interlinkages and how they can advance the 2030 Agenda. One Earth. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oneear.2023.10.008

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set a vision for a more sustainable world, to be realized by 2030. Progress to date is insufficient and implementation challenges are many, including the need for strategies that maximize synergies and mitigate trade-offs and conflicts among the goals.

This scoping review synthesizes 51 recent scientific articles on interlinkages, with findings that can help decision-makers address this challenge. The authors identify recurring patterns of SDG interlinkages, including SDGs that promote other SDGs (e.g., SDGs 4, 6, and 17) and those at risk due to negative impacts from progress in other areas (e.g., SDGs 14 and 15). Such patterns can inform national and local implementation. Further research is needed to clarify the systemic roles of some SDGs (e.g., SDGs 10–12), understand causal relationships, and assess policy options. The authors make six recommendations for science to make interlinkages knowledge more accessible and for decision-makers to systematically use this knowledge.

The article serves as a background paper to the UN Global Sustainable Development Report 2023.

Environmental technology concept. Sustainable development goals. SDGs.

Environmental technology concept. Sustainable development goals. SDGs.

Photo: metamorworks / Getty Images

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Open access

SEI authors

Therese Bennich
Therese Bennich

Research Fellow

SEI Headquarters

Åsa Persson
Åsa Persson

Research Director and Deputy Director

SEI Headquarters

Raphaëlle Beaussart
Raphaëlle Beaussart

Research Associate

SEI Headquarters

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