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Record number 497840
Title Stewardship to tackle global phosphorus inefficiency : The case of Europe
Author(s) Withers, P.J.A.; Dijk, K.C. van; Neset, T.S.S.; Nesme, Thomas; Oenema, Oene; Rubæk, G.H.; Schoumans, O.F.; Smit, Bert; Pellerin, Sylvain
Source Ambio 44 (2015)2. - ISSN 0044-7447 - p. 193 - 206.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13280-014-0614-8
Department(s) Chair Soil Chemistry and Chemical Soil Quality
Alterra - Sustainable soil management
PE&RC
PPO/PRI AGRO Water- en Biobased Economy
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2015
Keyword(s) Europe - Eutrophication - Human health - Inefficiency - Phosphorus - Resources - Sustainability
Abstract

The inefficient use of phosphorus (P) in the food chain is a threat to the global aquatic environment and the health and well-being of citizens, and it is depleting an essential finite natural resource critical for future food security and ecosystem function. We outline a strategic framework of 5R stewardship (Re-align P inputs, Reduce P losses, Recycle P in bioresources, Recover P in wastes, and Redefine P in food systems) to help identify and deliver a range of integrated, cost-effective, and feasible technological innovations to improve P use efficiency in society and reduce Europe’s dependence on P imports. Their combined adoption facilitated by interactive policies, co-operation between upstream and downstream stakeholders (researchers, investors, producers, distributors, and consumers), and more harmonized approaches to P accounting would maximize the resource and environmental benefits and help deliver a more competitive, circular, and sustainable European economy. The case of Europe provides a blueprint for global P stewardship.

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