Towards INMS June 2021 Newsletter UNEP-UKCEH/GEF INMS Project Newsletter


  • One Earth Commentary
  • Pre-COP26 Virtual Event
  • Opinion: Why Care About Nitrogen and Ecosystem Restoration?
  • World Environment Day 2021 Webinar
  • The Fifteenth Plenary Meeting of the Task Force on Reactive Nitrogen (TFRN-15)
  • World Water Day

Keep in touch

One Earth Commentary

The One Earth journal featured a special issue on the nitrogen challenge including a commentary led by Professor Mark Sutton (other authors: Clare M. Howard, David R. Kanter, Luis Lassaletta, Andrea Móring, Nandula Raghuram and Nicole Read) on 'The nitrogen decade: mobilizing global action on nitrogen to 2030 and beyond'. The article discusses the importance for increased Nitrogen awareness through various methods including the ‘‘Nitrogen Song’’ by Grammy® Award Winner Ricky Kej (which can be viewed below) and harnessing COP26 momentum.

Pre-COP26 Virtual Event: Nitrogen for Climate and Green Recovery, April 27-29 2021

In April, the British High Commission in Colombo and the Government of Sri Lanka hosted a virtual pre-COP26 event: Nitrogen for Climate and Green Recovery. This included launching the #NitrogenforNetZero initiative which seeks to mobilize action on nitrogen for climate in preparation for COP-26. #Nitrogen4NetZero illustrates how action on nitrogen is needed to meet ambitious global climate goals, while offering multiple benefits across United Nations conventions.

The event opened with a statement, on behalf of His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa, delivered by Foreign Minister Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena, which emphasized that “...Climate scientists have been studying and grappling with the impact of increased carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere for decades. I believe it is important to address the issue of nitrogen waste in a similarly urgent way, and to broaden the ongoing discourse on climate change accordingly.” Additional speakers speakers across the three day event included: H.E. Sarah Hulton, British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Ministers from South Asia, VIP statements and representatives from science, NGOs and business.

The UK will host COP26 later this year in Glasgow. At the summit, delegates including heads of state, climate experts and negotiators will come together to agree coordinated action to tackle climate change and the journey towards a zero carbon economy. However, achieving this goal will not be possible without action on Nitrogen. At the same time, reducing nitrogen pollution offers multiple win-wins across sustainable development for air, water, biodiversity, stratospheric ozone depletion, soils, food and the economy. #NitrogenforNetZero opens up a dialogue to widen the scope for climate action and engagement at this pivotal moment. Learn more about #NitrogenforNetZero below, and click the links to watch proceedings from Day 1 and Day 2.

Opinion: Why Care About Nitrogen and Ecosystem Restoration?

As part of of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, which aims to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems worldwide, INMS Project Director, Professor Mark Sutton, contributed an opinion article entitled 'Why care about Nitrogen and Ecosystem Restoration?' which is available to read here. Find out more about the decade of restoration below.

World Environment Day 2021 Webinar

Hosted by the Ministry of Climate Change, Government of Pakistan and UNEP, the upcoming webinar, 'Sustainable Nitrogen Management for Ecosystem Restoration', will take place on Friday 4th June 2021. Meeting the goals set out by the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration depends on awareness of efficient N management, increased Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE) in food production, and thereby decreasing the surplus N and its release to the environment. Read the webinar's concept paper and agenda here and register for the event here.

The Fifteenth Plenary Meeting of the Task Force on Reactive Nitrogen (TFRN-15)

Following TFRN-14 in Brussels in October 2019, and in the run-up to the fifty-ninth session of the UNECE Working Group on Strategies and Review (WGSR-59) in May 2021, the 15th Annual Meeting of the Task Force on Reactive Nitrogen (TFRN-15) was held virtually on Thursday, 4th February. The main goals of the e-meeting were:

  • Update and discussion on the review of the Gothenburg Protocol
  • Presentation of the Expert Panel on Nitrogen & Food’s (EPNF) upcoming report, ‘Appetite for Change’
  • Reporting on the work of the four TFRN Panels: the Expert Panel on Nitrogen & Food (EPNF), the Expert Panel on Nitrogen Budgets (EPNB), the Expert Panel on Mitigating Agricultural Nitrogen (EPMAN) & the Expert Panel on Nitrogen in Countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (EPN-ECCA).
  • Open discussion on emerging issues

Outputs from TFRN-15, including presentations, can be found here.

You can also read the official report to WGSR-59 from TFRN here, including a summery of the emerging messages from the EPNF's report, 'Appetite for Change'.

TFRN members are now focused on providing inputs as part of the review process of the Gothenburg Protocol, including hosting a meeting specifically focused on TFRN's role in the review on 19th March 2021. Outputs from this meeting will be available at www.clrtap-tfrn.org very soon.

World Water Day

Image Credit: WorldWaterDay.Org

UN World Water Day took place on 22nd March. As part of the GEF IW: Learn portfolio, INMS contributed the article 'Valuing water means tackling the nitrogen challenge'. The article discusses the ways in which INMS is addressing the nitrogen challenge in an integrated way, including improving drinking water quality and ecosystems health.

The article states, "Nitrogen is a nutrient, which is necessary for crop growth and causes minimal impacts when managed efficiently, but can have deadly consequences when left unchecked. Nitrate in drinking water is also a human health issue, with links to cancer and other diseases. Approaches to limiting nitrate in drinking water vary widely across the globe and limits set are not always adhered to". Read the full article here.

Future Newsletters

We would like to hear from you! Please email inms@ceh.ac.uk with any updates that you would like us to include in future newsletters.


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