International policy workshop on nitrogen in Paris March 8 10, 2006

A scientific assessment and policy workshop on Nitrogen will be held in Paris March 8-10, 2006. The initiative is co-sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Woods Hole Research Center.

The workshop will develop a preliminary assessment of potential actions and policies to minimize negative impacts of nitrogen overload, and redress shortages in those areas afflicted. The primary intent of this workshop is to initiate the interaction between the scientific and policy-making communities, and start a policy-oriented discussion on what could and should be done to address the disrupted global nitrogen cycle.

Participants will be drawn from key stakeholder groups, with a regional balance. These will include: policy makers that deal with this topic on a regular basis, whether they are working for governments or intergovernmental organizations; scientific and business leaders who can bring to the table the broad experience of lessons learned in our quest to attain sustainability and see ways of moving forward with this topic; academics specializing in the fields of law and economics with specific ideas on coping with global environmental problems in the context of a global economy and the increasing inter-dependence of nations.

The International Nitrogen Initiative (INI) was jointly launched by SCOPE and IGBP in 2003. The main impetus behind this was the concern expressed by many in the scientific community to the effects of nutrient overload on the environment. The issues of Nitrogen encompass more than nutrients. They cover a wide area including air pollution, greenhouse effect, and stratospheric ozone depletion, among others. These all require an integrated policy approach.

The Initiative was begun through a series of groundbreaking scientific exercises, most notably the organization of the International Nitrogen Conferences: three held thus far, one in the Netherlands in 1998 focusing on Europe; one

Contact: Judy Fenwick
Woods Hole Research Center

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