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Introducing the “Luanhe Living Lab” Project

Funded by NERC (UK), NSFC (China), and JST (Japan), this project entitled “River basins as 'living laboratories' for achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs) across national and sub-national scales” focuses on understanding how national-level policies related to the SDGs impact development at the sub-national scale. The project hypothesises that trade-offs between SDG goals and targets at the sub-national scale create inequalities between segments of society when attempting to achieve the SDGs at the national level. It uses the Luanhe River Basin in China as a case study to provide scientifically-grounded, policy-relevant information on the synergies and trade-offs between selected SDGs and targets. In doing so, the project will quantify basin hydrology, sediment transport, and ecosystem services under various scenarios of basin development, population change, land-use change and climate change. With this information, the project will assess how observed and projected changes relate to various interlinked SDGs and targets from both spatial and temporal perspectives. Results from this research will be relevant to other basins in China and similar basins across the world. This two-year project comprises partners from the University of Glasgow and Loughborough University in the UK, Nankai University in China, and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) in Japan.