The Beacon Project: Using Biodiversity and Energy justice to resolve Conflicts between Sustainable Development Goals

Funded by Medical Research Council.

Collaboration with Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, International Institute for Environment and Development, International Land Coalition, Taraz State University, The James Hutton Institute, The World Bank, Universidade Estadual De Santa Cruz, University of Dundee, University of East Anglia, University of Edinburgh, University of Florida and University of Kent.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) promote global economic and social prosperity while simultaneously seeking to protect the environment. All UN member states are signatories to achieving SDGs under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. However, competing objectives of SDGs and stakeholders can require decision-makers to make trade-offs, potentially leading to damaging and unequal distribution of costs and benefits for people and the environment. To address this challenge at global to local scales, The Beacon Project will use hydropower development as a model system and employ interdisciplinary thinking and methods to quantify the trade-offs, conflicts and synergies between SDGs and stakeholders. The overarching aim of The Beacon Project is to identify, forecast, prevent and mitigate conflicts associated with development processes, to achieve equitable sustainable development now and beyond the 2030 sustainable development targets.

Total award value £963,901.82

People (2)


Dr Isabel Jones
Dr Isabel Jones

Senior Research Fellow, BES

Professor Nils Bunnefeld
Professor Nils Bunnefeld

Professor, Biological and Environmental Sciences

Outputs (4)



Jones IL, Timoshenko A, Zuban I, Zhadan K, Cusack JJ, Duthie AB, Hodgson ID, Minderman J, Pozo RA, Whytock RC & Bunnefeld N (2022) Achieving international biodiversity targets: learning from local norms, values and actions regarding migratory waterfowl management in Kazakhstan. Journal of Applied Ecology, 59 (7), pp. 1911-1924.


van der Sande MT, Powers JS, Kuyper TW, Norden N, Salgado-Negret B, Silva de Almeida J, Bongers F, Delgado D, Dent DH, Derroire G, Marcos do Espírito Santo M, Dupuy JM, Wilson Fernandes G, Jones IL & Poorter L (2022) Soil resistance and recovery during Neotropical forest succession. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

Manual / Guide

Healy A, Kadungure A, Smith C, McFee E, Nakebembe E, Jones I, Fledderjohann J, McQuaid K, Le Doare K, Contractor S & Rashid S (2022) The NCRM wayfinder guide to equitable research relations in and after Covid-19. Southampton: National Centre for Research Methods.