The Berlin Declaration adopted at the end of the 8th triennial conference of the International Nitrogen Initiative (INI) held virtually between May 31-June 3, 2021, calls for “sustainable management of reactive nitrogen compounds across all sectors of human activity as a crucial step towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030”.
The conference was attended by over 1000 registered delegates from 60 countries between 31 May and 03 June. The Berlin declaration is co-signed by Dr. (Ms). Lilian Busse, Vice President of the German Environment Agency, and Prof. Nandula Raghuram, INI Chair and biotechnologist from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi.
“The declaration sought integration of sustainable nitrogen management objectives within environmental policy efforts across all scales to maximize the likelihood of improving humanity’s relationship with nitrogen”, INI statement said.
The declaration was also highlighted by Stephanie Wolter from the German environment ministry during a special webinar on ‘Sustainable Nitrogen Management for Ecosystem Restoration’. This event was organized as a part of this year’s World Environment Day celebrations, hosted by the Pakistan Government for the UN environment programme. It was done in collaboration with South Asia nitrogen hub, INI and its project ‘towards international nitrogen management system’, global partnership on nutrient management, and the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad.
The declaration applauded the enormous scientific progress highlighted at the nitrogen conferences, “resulting intergovernmental adoption of the first-ever UN resolution on Sustainable Nitrogen Management in the fourth UN Environment Assembly (2019)”.
“The unanimous resolution was led by the Indian government and is one of the most important developments since the Delhi Declaration released from the 5th INI conference”, said Raghuram, who facilitated the resolution. However, the German government leads the way in implementing it, by announcing that it is working towards “an ambitious overall nitrogen target”, The Berlin declaration supports “ambitious goals at national and international scales”, such as “to halve the nitrogen waste”.
German Federal Environment Minister Schulze stated: “The world emits too much nitrogen and this exacerbates problems like air pollution, biodiversity loss, and climate change. In Germany, we have already made significant reductions in nitrogen. Thanks to the revised Fertiliser Application Ordinance, the Climate Change Act, and National Air Pollution Control Programme, nitrogen emissions are expected to fall by a further one third up to 2030. However, the remaining one million tons of nitrogen per year is still too much. That is why we need an overall nitrogen target for 2030. Additional efforts are needed at the European Union level too, with the Farm-to-Fork Strategy and the Air Quality Directive playing a central role.” (India Science Wire)