GEF project on nutrient management

 

PROJECT GENERAL INFORMATION

 

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

Global

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.

 

 

Global Partnership for Nutrient Management Launched

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.

Download PDF Fact Sheet on GPNM!

From the scientic literature:

 

Ocean pollution: Addressing root causes of nutrient over-enrichment

Human activities, notably food production, fossil fuel burning and wastewater from people and industry, have led in recent decades to very large increases in the amount of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous in our environment, notably in the marine environment. In the case of coastal waters this excess is leading to nutrient over-enrichment, which in turn produces eutrophication and hypoxia leading to declining coastal water quality and associated human health impacts, damage to biodiversity such as sea-grasses and coral reefs, and fish kills.

Low oxygen (hypoxic) areas known as dead zones, where most marine life cannot survive, can result in the collapse of some ecosystems. There are now close to 500 dead zones with a total global surface area of over 245,000 km², roughly equivalent to that of the United Kingdom. The overall effect is to undermine the resilience of marine and coastal ecosystems, affecting in turn their ability to support coastal livelihoods such as fishing and tourism and their potential role in climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The cost to countries of nutrient over-enrichment from the degradation of their marine and coastal natural resource base, and the services and livelihoods it provides, will increase without improved policy responses. A Global Environment Facility (GEF) project entitled “Global Foundations for reducing nutrient enrichment and oxygen depletion from land based pollution in support of global nutrient cycle” aims to provide the foundations 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. A paper recently published within the framework of the project proposes a new integrated model approach.

In river basins, soils, groundwater, riparian zones, streams, rivers, lakes and reservoirs act as successive filters in which the hydrology, ecology and biogeochemical processing are strongly coupled and together act to retain a significant fraction of the nutrients transported. The paper compares existing river ecology concepts with current approaches to describe river biogeochemistry, and assesses the value of these concepts and approaches for understanding the impacts of interacting global change disturbances on river biogeochemistry. Through merging perspectives, concepts, modelling techniques, it proposes integrated model approaches that encompass both aquatic and terrestrial components in heterogeneous landscapes. In this model framework, existing ecological and biogeochemistry concepts are extended with a balanced approach for assessing nutrient and sediment delivery on the one hand, and nutrient in-stream retention on the other hand.

The paper “Nutrient dynamics, transfer and retention along the aquatic continuum from land to ocean: towards integration of ecological and biogeochemical models” was published in Biogeosciences, an interactive open access journal of the European Geosciences Union, on 2 January 2013. The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC/UNESCO) is an executing partner of this GEF project, coordinated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Related links:

 

 

 

Hindcasts and Future Projections of Global Inland and Coastal Nitrogen and Phosphorus Loads Due to Finfish Aquaculture

 

The paper “Hindcasts and Future Projections of Global Inland and Coastal Nitrogen and Phosphorus Loads Due to Finfish Aquaculture” was published in Reviews in Fisheries Science on 8 May 2013. The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC/UNESCO) is an executing partner of this GEF project, coordinated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).


To cite this article:

 A. F. Bouwman , A. H. W. Beusen , C. C. Overbeek , D. P. Bureau , M. Pawlowski & P. M. Glibert (2013):

Hindcasts and Future Projections of Global Inland and Coastal Nitrogen and Phosphorus Loads Due to Finfish Aquaculture,

Reviews in Fisheries Science, 21:2, 112-156

To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10641262.2013.790340

 



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