Global actions for a sustainable phosphorus future

Will Brownlie, Mark Sutton, David Reay, Kate Heal, Ludwig Hermann, Christian Kabbe, Bryan M. Spears

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Unsustainable phosphorus use is pushing food security further from reach1,2, leaving a legacy of polluted freshwaters, many now beyond ecological restoration3. Ten years have passed since the global anthropogenic flow of phosphorus was identified to be exceeding its planetary boundary4. In 2013, the opportunity was highlighted for a 20% improvement in nutrient use efficiency by 2020 across the full chain of food and waste systems5. The working group of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework proposed to reduce pollution from excess nutrients by 50% by 20306. Yet, phosphorus management remains largely ignored in the food and environmental policy agendas of most countries and international conventions7. Progress remains hindered by a lack of policy and public awareness, fragmentation of actions and policies, and the absence of intergovernmental coordination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-74
JournalNature Food
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2021


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