CLD4SDGs: Integrated assessment of progress and impacts on sustainable development goals using causal loop diagrams

The United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for sustainable development calls for meeting the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through local action and integrated approaches. We here describe a method developed to understand how local (un-)sustainable processes in coupled social-ecological systems contribute to or hinder meeting SDGs at the target-level in coupled social-ecological systems (SES). The steps include:

•The construction of a causal-loop diagram (CLD) of the social-ecological processes that shape system dynamics

•CLD simplification for the purpose of the SDG analysis,

•Steps of the SDG analysis.

The methods combine and build on published examples of CLD and SDG analyses and includes instructions for the transparent documentation of the analyses to support review and further development of SDG-target analyses in complex social-ecological systems. A template for the documentation and analysis is provided in the supplementary materials.

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Keywords: Social-ecological systems, Trade-offs and synergies, Impacts and pathways, Leverage for change

Citation: Downing, A.S. 2022 MethodsX 9:101851

CLD4SDGs: Integrated assessment of progress and impacts on sustainable development goals using causal loop diagrams

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