The GPNM - a global platform to steer dialogues and actions to promote effective nutrient management
The accelerated use of nitrogen and phosphorous is at the centre of a complex web of development benefits and environmental problems. They are key to crop production and half of the world’s food security is dependent on nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizer use. But excess nutrients from fertilizers, fossil fuel burning, and wastewater from humans, livestock, aquaculture and industry lead to air, water, soil and marine pollution, with loss of biodiversity and fish, destruction of ozone and additional global warming potential
The problems will intensify as the demand for food and bio-fuels increase, and growing urban populations produce more wastewater. This will be at a growing economic cost to countries in the undermining of ecosystems, notably in the costal zone, and the services and jobs they provide.
The Global Partnership on Nutrient Management (GPNM) is a response to this ‘nutrient challenge’ – how to reduce the amount of excess nutrients in the global environment consistent with global development. The GPNM reflects a need for strategic, global advocacy to trigger governments and stakeholders in moving towards lower nitrogen and phosphorous inputs to human activities. It provides a platform for governments, UN agencies, scientists and the private sector to forge a common agenda, mainstreaming best practices and integrated assessments, so that policy making and investments are effectively ‘nutrient proofed’. The GPNM also provide a space where countries and other stakeholders can forge more co-operative work across the variety of international & regional fora and agencies dealing with nutrients, including the importance of assessment work.
What is New?
Improving Nutrient Use Efficiency to Address the Nutrient Challenge
The UNEP Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (UNEP/GPA) with contributions from the various partners of the Global Partnership on Nutrient Management (GPNM) drafted a document titled “Addressing the Nutrient Challenge: Where we are, what we need to know and what we need to do” to facilitate discussion during the third Inter-governmental Review Meeting of the Global Programme of Action (GPA/IGR-3) held in Manila, the Philippines in January 2012 and help governments in their deliberations on the subject and taking decision. The nutrient use efficiency (NUE) concept and an aspirational NUE target of 20% by 2016 were proposed in this document. In support of the 20% NUE target the FAO 2008 data set were analyzed for various countries to demonstrate what would be nutrient savings if the 20% NUE is adopted by the governments. The document “Addressing the Nutrient Challenge: Where we are, what we need to know and what we need to do” and was circulated as an information document for the governments ( see UNEP(DEPI)/GPA/IGR.3/INF/7).
The above document drew attention of the governments. Based on intensive discussions and consultations among the governments and GPNM members, the governments, in the Manila Declaration gave its endorsement of the NUE concept but not the proposed target of 20% improvement in NUE by 2016, and noted its decision in following words. We quote “Decide actively to engage ourselves and step up our efforts to develop guidance, strategies or policies on the sustainable use of nutrients so as to improve nutrient use efficiency with attendant economic benefits for all stakeholders, including farmers, and to mitigate negative environmental impacts through the development and implementation of national goals and plans over the period 2012-2016, as necessary” (para 4).
UNEP/GPA Coordination Office extends its appreciation to all the members of the GPNM for their contributions in securing endorsement of NUE concept by governments, and paving the way for engaging in dialogues with the national governments for defining goals and developing national plan to realize such goals.
Chilika Lake Ecosystem Health Report Card
The Chilika Lake Ecosystem Health Report Card focuses on understanding the biogeochemical process and fluxes of nutrients in the Chilika Lake and estimating the overall water quality status, biodiversity and fisheries of the Chilika Lake along with the coastal water quality in the adjacent Bay of Bengal. The ‘Report Card’ provides rigorous scientific assessment of key parameters based on well-defined threshold values which can serve as a tool for management of Chilika Lake and its basin, but also to communicate science and/or complex information in simple terms on a regular basis to facilitate engagement of various stakeholders (e.g., policy makers, resource managers and the coastal communities) in taking responsibilities for the management of the lake ecosystem.
New report: Our Nutrient World
The work underpinning the report is an outcome from the GPNM.The message of this overview is that everyone stands to benefit from nutrients and that everyone can make a contribution to promote sustainable production and use of nutrients. Whether we live in a part of the world with too much or too little nutrients, our daily decisions can make a difference. This "Global Overview of Nutrient Management" is a product that governments asked UNEP as the Secretariat of the GPA to undertake during the IGR-3. It was prepared by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Edinburgh on behalf of the Global Partnership on Nutrient Management and the International Nitrogen Initiative.
New PSA on nutrients
Jim Toomey, a famous Cartoonist of the USA talks about Nutrient Runoff and highlights how excess run-off from fertilizers and other chemicals can end up in our streams, rivers, and oceans, creating algal blooms that result in dead zones and destroy marine ecosystems.
GPNM at CBD COP11
Hyderabad, 18 October 2012 on The challenge to produce more food & energy with less pollution:
Towards a Global Nitrogen Assessment - A Report. The side event was organized by the South
Asian Nitrogen Centre of the International Nitrogen Initiative, in association with the UNEP Global
Partnership on Nutrient Management (GPNM) and the Indian Nitrogen Group (ING) of the Society for Conservation of Nature, New Delhi.
GPNM at Rio +20
17 June 2012 'Nutrients: For Food or Pollution? The Choice is Ours!":
GPNM at the Global Conference on Land-Oceans Connections, 23-24 January 2012
GPNM at the Global Conference on Land-Oceans Connections, 2-4 October 2013