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Addressing the Nutrient Challenge

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 attached document).

This 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.

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