The Colombo Declaration

Launch of the UN Global Campaign on Sustainable Nitrogen Management, Colombo, October 2019

From 23rd- 24th October 2019, INMS and the UKRI GCRF South Asian Nitrogen Hub were pleased to support the launch of the UN Global Campaign on Sustainable Nitrogen Management in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

This High-Level Segment and Science-Policy Dialogue was planned under the joint leadership of H.E Maithripala Sirisena, President and Minster of Mahaweli Development and Environment of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, and Ms. Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UN Environment, in order to support the implementation of the Resolution passed earlier in 2019 at UNEA-4 on ‘Sustainable nitrogen management’ (UNEP/EA.4/Res.14).

The 24th October was an especially historic day with the signing of the Colombo Declaration by countries, a first of its kind in terms of governments agreeing to work together on a major quantitative global goal for improved nitrogen management.

Overall, the event was a great achievement, with over 100 delegates, representing 29 countries in attendance, including Ms. Joyce Msuya, Deputy Executive Director of UNEP.

Building on the momentum from Colombo, a Nitrogen Working Group of country-level nominated focal points, was formed through UNEP, in order to work towards a more defined process and structure for an ‘Inter-governmental Nitrogen Co-ordination Mechanism’ (INCOM). The Working Group’s first e-meeting was held in June 2020 with a second meeting planned for early 2022.

Colombo Declaration and Other Meeting Documents

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Papersmart Portal Link  (new link)

You can also view key documents below:

Access the resolution in all official UN languages here.

Interview with Joyce Msuya on the Launch of the UN Global Nitrogen Campaign

Watch Joyce Msuya, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director, UN Environment Programme, and Professor Mark Sutton speak about grasping the Nitrogen challenge.

The Nitrogen Song

As part of the launch of the Global Campaign on Sustainable Nitrogen Management, Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Ricky Kej and his team performed the first ever NitroConcert, including the premiere of the Nitrogen Song! This was a fantastic addition to the event and a chance to showcase nitrogen in a completely original way. More information about the Nitrogen Song can be found in this One Earth publication.