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Human Acceleration of the Nitrogen Cycle

Managing Risks and Uncertainty

image of Human Acceleration of the Nitrogen Cycle

This publication examines the risks associated with the release of excessive nitrogen into the environment (climate change, depletion of the ozone layer, air pollution, water pollution, loss of biodiversity, deterioration of soil quality). The report also examines the uncertainty associated with the ability of nitrogen to move from one ecosystem to another and cause "cascading effects". In addition to better management of nitrogen risks at the local level, there is a need to consider the global risks associated with the continued increase in nitrous oxide concentrations and to prevent excess nitrogen in all its forms by developing cost-effective strategies for all its sources. Other than the reduction of nitrogen pollution, this report provides guidance on the use of nitrogen policy instruments and how to ensure coherence with objectives such as food security, energy security and environmental objectives.

English French

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Criteria to guide nitrogen policy making

This chapter provides a framework for analysing the merits of nitrogen management policy instruments. It establishes a typology of the different types of instruments available to decision makers and proposes three criteria to evaluate them (effectiveness, cost-efficiency and feasibility). It stresses the importance of strengthening the coherence between nitrogen pollution management policy and other policies, both environmental and sectoral.

English French

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