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Evaluating synergies and trade-offs in achieving the SDGs of zero hunger and clean water and sanitation: An application of the IEEM Platform to Guatemala

Onil Banerjee (), Martín Cicowiez (), Mark Horridge () and Renato Vargas

Ecological Economics, 2019, vol. 161, issue C, 280-291

Abstract: The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal call to action to end poverty and protect the environment. The Government of Guatemala is prioritizing the SDGs it will focus on and defining lines of action to achieve them. In this paper, we apply the Integrated Economic-Environmental Modelling (IEEM) Platform for Guatemala to evaluate the economic, wealth and environmental impacts of strategies to achieve the second SDG of zero hunger and the sixth SDG of clean water and sanitation. The analytical power of the IEEM approach is driven by its integration of the first international standard for environmental statistics, the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting introduced in an earlier edition of this journal. This integration enables the evaluation of policy alternatives from economic, wealth and environmental perspectives which is essential given the integrated nature of the SDGs. We find that significant additional investment in agricultural productivity and water and sanitation would be required to meet these SDG targets and that the overall pace of economic growth is critical. IEEM applied to the SDGs lends transparency and structure to the prioritization and agenda setting process of the policy cycle and highlights the importance of allocating adequate resources in multi-year budgets if targets are to be met. IEEM can shed light on the need for complementary policies to reconcile lines of action that can make progress toward one SDG while inadvertently moving away from another SDG, as well as identify potential win-wins, where one line of action can make progress toward multiple SDGs simultaneously.

Keywords: Ex-ante economic impact evaluation; System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA); System of National Accounting (SNA); Integrated Economic-Environmental Modelling Platform (IEEM); Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); Wealth; Natural capital; Ecosystem services (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2019.04.003

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