Phosphorus Shortage: European challenges, Brussels/Belgium, 4 March 2010

The threatening shortage of phosphorus – a key component of fertilisers – is crucial for the world’s food supplies. Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for all plants and animals. It is also one of the three key components (together with nitrogen and potassium) of fertilisers, and therefore crucial for the world’s food supply system. Phosphorus shortage will be one of the most pressing problems of the coming years. Global supply is limited and concentrated in just a few countries. Demand is increasing rapidly. Since there is not yet an alternative for phosphorus, innovative strategies are needed to ensure its availability. Bas Eickhout and Lena Ek (both members of the European Parliament) and the Nutrient Flow Task Group (NFTG) intended this Mini Seminar to accelerate the search for solutions and help develop opportunities created by the phosphorus crisis.

Agenda and minutes




Peak Phosphorus – The Next Inconvenient Truth
Arno Rosemarin, Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden

Swedish Phosphorus Recycling Policy
Linda Gårdstam, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

Background publications

Phosphorus in Agriculture - Global Resources Trends & Developments (September 2009)
A. L. Smit, P. S. Bindraban, J. J. Schröder, J. G. Conijn & H. G. von der Meer, Plant Research International B.V., Wageningen

Phosphate – from surplus to shortage (of Nutrients flow Task Group)
Policy memorandum of the Steering Committee for Technology Assessment of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, September 2009
H. A. Udo de Haes, J. L. A. Jansen, W. J. van der Weijden & A. L. Smit, Plant Research International B.V., Wageningen, The Netherlands

For more information, please visit the Phosphorus Depletion website


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