A Resolution on Sustainable Nitrogen Management Adopted at the UNEA 4

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The Sustainable Nitrogen Management Resolution instrumented by SACEP in partnership with INMS has been adopted by the recently concluded 4th session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 4) held in Nairobi, Kenya. The draft resolution prepared and unanimously agreed at the Regional Workshop on Capacity development for the national authorities to formulate Nitrogen Management Policy and its implementation at national and regional level in South Asian Seas (SAS) Region organized by SACEP in partnership with INMS on 12 – 14 September 2017 at Male’, Maldives. Then, the 14th meeting of the Governing Council of SACEP held in March 2018 adopted a decision in supporting the Nitrogen Management Resolution at the UNEA 4 meeting. On behalf of SACEP member countries, government of India submitted the resolution to the UNEA4 for its consideration for adoption. Other member countries of SACEP co-sponsored/supported the India’s submission. After going though vigorous negotiation process during 4 – 15 March 2019, the resolution was adopted by the global leaders at the final plenary of the UNEA4 meeting.

The resolution recognized the threats of pollution due to human emissions of reactive nitrogen on “the terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments”. But it also acknowledged the benefits of nitrogen use for food and energy production. It noted that global use of reactive nitrogen is extremely inefficient as 80 per cent of all nitrogen used is lost to the environment creating a cascade of impacts, from pollution affecting human health and ecosystem services to greenhouse gas emissions which lead to climate change and also ozone depletion.