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Global challenges for nitrogen science-policy interactions: Towards the International Nitrogen Management system (INMS) and improved coordination between multi-lateral enviornmental agreements

Sutton, Mark A.; Howard, Clare M.; Brownlie, Will J.; Kanter, David R.; de Vries, Wim; Adhya, T.K.; Ometto, Jean P.; Baron, Jill S.; Winiwarter, Wilfried; Ju, Xiaotang; Masso, Cargele; Oenema, Oene; Raghuram, N.; van Grinsven, Hans J.M.; Van der Beck, Isabelle; Cox, Christopher; Hansen, Steffen C.B.; Ramachandran, Ramesh; Hicks, W. Kevin. 2020 Global challenges for nitrogen science-policy interactions: Towards the International Nitrogen Management system (INMS) and improved coordination between multi-lateral enviornmental agreements. In: Sutton, Mark A.; Mason, Kate E.; Bleeker, Albert; Hicks, W. Kevin; Masso, Cargele; Raghuram, N.; Reis, Stefan; Bekunda, Mateete, (eds.) Just enough nitrogen: Perspectives on how to get there for regions with too much and too little nitrogen. Switzerland, Springer Nature, 517-560.

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Abstract/Summary

Human interference with the nitrogen cycle has doubled reactive nitrogen inputs to the global biosphere over the past century, leading to changes across multiple environmental issues that require urgent action. Nitrogen fertilizers and biological nitrogen fixation have allowed benefits of increased crop harvest and livestock production, while in some areas there is insufficient nitrogen to fertilize crops. Whether in excess or deficit, nitrogen losses from its inefficient use are causing a combination of freshwater and marine pollution, air pollution, alteration of climate balance, stratospheric ozone loss, biodiversity loss and reduction of soil quality. The resulting nitrogen pollution affects human health, well-being and livelihoods. Scientific efforts have begun to bring these issues together. However, there is still a high degree of fragmentation between research on the different benefits and threats of reactive nitrogen and between the respective policy frameworks, especially at the global scale. We argue that a more joined-up approach to managing the global nitrogen cycle is needed to develop the ‘gravity of common cause’ between nitrogen issues and to avoid policy trade-offs. We describe how a coherent system for science evidence provision is being developed to support policy development through the ‘International Nitrogen Management System’ (INMS). There is now a matching challenge to bring together the multiple policy agreements relevant for nitrogen as a foundation to address synergies/trade-offs and to set priorities. Based on review of existing frameworks, we outline the concept for an Interconvention nitrogen coordination mechanism. This could make a major contribution to multiple Sustainable Development Goals by stimulating the next generation of international nitrogen strategies: maximizing the benefits of efficient nitrogen use, while minimizing its many environmental threats.

Item Type: Publication - Book Section
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-58065-0_36
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Atmospheric Chemistry and Effects (Science Area 2017-)
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Chapter 36
Additional Keywords: Nitrogen cascade, Policy, Intergovernmental agreements, Pollution, Interconvention coordination
NORA Subject Terms: Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 11 Dec 2023 16:26 +0 (UTC)
URI: https://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/536241

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