Activity 2.4

Activity 2.4 - Exploration of future N storylines & scenarios with management/mitigation options & cost-benefits analysis

The purpose of this activity is to examine how the global nitrogen cycle may alter in the future and what the consequences of this future change would be.  For this purpose, broad storylines will be considered to frame possible futures, as well as specific scenarios of ‘what if’ considered. The starting point is a review of existing nitrogen policies for different regions and countries, examining what policies they have in place and how these link to the nitrogen cycle, the extent to which synergies across the nitrogen cycle are addressed, and the extent of gaps. This first task is serving a dual role to inform the storyline and scenario development, but also to inform the interaction with international policy processes in Component 4.

A key part of the work is to identify a) which measures/actions offer the major opportunities for change (reducing adverse effects of N and improving the retention of N benefits) and b) how these may be be grouped into distinct classes of action, c) where there is potential for synergy across the nitrogen cycle (in cooperation with Activity 2.3) and d) what are the priority measures that need to be incorporated into global and regional models describing scenarios of the future nitrogen cycle.

  • Task 2.4.1 is serving to bring together information on policies linked to nitrogen in different regions and globally.  For this purpose the work connecting directly with the policy initiatives of countries, engaging closely with the programme in this area of OECD, but also extending to other key INMS countries beyond OECD.

  • Taks 2.4.2 is providing the basis to prepare for a workshop that brings together different views on storylines and scenarios for nitrogen in relation to its multiple benefits (food, fibre, energy etc) and threats (water, air, greenhouse balance, ecosystems, soils etc), linking environment and health issues.

  • The focus of Task 2.4.3 is seting up a workshop that will bring together those with expertise and current involvement in developing and applying future storylines and scenarios for nitrogen, while coming from many different perspectives.

  • Task 2.4.4 links closely with Activity 4.3 on international processes in order to inform the policy arena and to feedback to the development of supporting concepts and approaches. This work also links to progress in the Sustainable Development Goals (both development and implementation, as that process progresses), and to the development of processes linked to planetary boundaries, exploring how the planetary boundary concept can be refined for nitrogen and conversely how the nitrogen case could support the planetary boundaries approach.

Activity 2.4 is being delivered under Component 2. The diagram below shows the tasks and task outputs deliviered for this activity.