GEF project on nutrient management




Project Title

Global foundations for reducing nutrient enrichment and oxygen   depletion from land based pollution, in support of Global Nutrient Cycle

Executing Agency


United Nations Environment Programme

Project Partners

Governments of the Philippines, India, The   Netherlands and the USA; IOC/UNESCO; PEMSEA; Chilika Development Authority; Global Environment and Technology   Foundation; Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency; Washington State   University, Vancouver; University of Utrecht, The Netherlands; The Netherlands Energy Research Centre ; Institute for Oceans Management,   Anna University Chennai; National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management,   India and University of Philippines.

Geographical scope


Participating countries

Philippines and India

Project actual start date

April 2012

Project expected completion data

March 2015

The project rationales are on two linked scales; firstly, interventions relating to nutrient over-enrichment and oxygen depletion in defined locations of Manila Bay in the Philippines and Chilika Lake in India. Secondly, at a broader scale, the project addresses issues relating to overall level of excess nutrient use and the resulting dynamics global nutrient cycle and brings them into the domain of public discourse and decision making through the GPNM and other relevant international fora.

The project meets this rationale and associated benefits by setting and seeking to achieve the following objective “to provide the foundations (including partnerships, information, tools and policy mechanisms) for governments and other stakeholders to initiate comprehensive, effective and sustained programmes addressing nutrient over-enrichment and oxygen depletion from land based pollution of coastal waters in Large Marine Ecosystems”.

This is to be achieved through a number of core project outcomes and outputs, which were referred to in the project rationale and which can be summarized as:

  • the development and application of quantitative modelling approaches: to estimate and map present day contributions of different watershed based nutrient sources to coastal nutrient loading and their effects; to indicate when nutrient over-enrichment problem areas are likely to occur; and to estimate the magnitude of expected effects of further nutrient loading on coastal systems under a range of scenarios
  • the systematic analysis of available scientific, technological and policy options for managing nutrient over-enrichment impacts in the coastal zone from key nutrient source sectors such as agriculture, wastewater and aquaculture, and their bringing together an overall Policy Tool Box
  • the application of the modelling analysis to assess the likely impact and overall cost effectiveness of the various policy options etc. brought together in the Tool Box, so that resource managers have a means to determine which investments and decisions they can better make in addressing root causes of coastal over-enrichment through nutrient reduction strategies
  • the application of this approach in the Manila Bay watershed with a view to helping deliver the key tangible outcome of the project – the development of stakeholder owned, cost-effective and policy relevant nutrient reduction strategies (containing relevant stress reduction and environmental quality indicators), which can be mainstreamed into broader planning
  • a fully established global partnership on nutrient management to provide a necessary stimulus and framework for the effective development, replication, up-scaling and sharing of these key outcomes.

The key outcomes outlined above are reflected in 4 main operational components: Component A - the global partnership; Component B - the development of the modeling techniques; Component C - the development of the Policy Toolbox and the integration of the tools with the modeling techniques, and Component D - the application of tools and modeling techniques in the Manila Bay watershed to produce actual nutrient reduction strategies both for mainstream adoption in that area, and as a model for the development and application of nutrient reduction strategies in other regions as well as development of an ecosystem health report card through its pilot testing in Chilika Lake of India and eventual replication in Laguna de Bay in the Philippines. Each component will contribute to overall lessons drawn and potential for replication and up-scaling, which will be disseminated in an inter-active way through the Component A partnership, which continues after project completion to provide sustainability.

In addition to the 4 operational components, two over-arching components are represented by Component E - monitoring and evaluation effective project co-ordination, and Component F –management and over-sight.



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