Mosquito net fishing exemplifies conflict among Sustainable Development Goals

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Jan 08, 2019
Christopher H. Trisos, Steven M. Alexander, Jessica A. Gephart, Rajina Gurung, Peter B. McIntyre & Rebecca E. Short


The intersection of public health, development and conservation is emerging as a critical nexus for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)1. SDG-oriented action plans in each sector typically emphasize positive synergies among goals2, yet a 2017 expert assessment concluded that 20% of interactions among SDGs are potentially negative3. Achieving the SDGs requires assessing both upsides and downsides of proposed projects in light of interlinked goals, including a willingness to re-examine existing interventions for unforeseen trade-offs.Mosquito-net fishing (MNF) offers a compelling case of SDG conflicts at the health–development–environment interface. It exemplifies the challenges that arise among goals that are highly emotive, rarely considered in concert, and for which solutions are typically developed in sector-specific silos. Accordingly, MNF offers valuable lessons for reconciling SDG conflicts more generally.

Read the comment in Nature Sustainability.

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