Overview of the Centre
The INI Latin American Centre was established in 2001, tasked with assessing the nitrogen challenge in the region. The region is vital in the provision of global supplies of food, fiber and biofuel, both in current and future scenarios. Nitrogen fertiliser is key in maintaining agricultural output. This presents a formidable challenge; how to balance the regions high agricultural potential whilst conserving its mega-biodiversity and related ecosystem services. Currently, a diverse range of natural ecosystems and socio-economic conditions in the region are coupled with a lack of information on actual impacts of human activity on N cycling. The INI Latin America Centre work to raise awareness of nitrogen issues, and the solutions that will drive change towards a more sustainable nitrogen future.
Goals of the Centre
- Implement a Latin American network of research groups to address various aspects of the nitrogen cycle;
- Identify, integrate and synthesize the knowledge of the nitrogen cycle, particularly as related to large-scale urbanization and other land-use changes;
- Assess the uncertainties of regional nitrogen budgets and contribute to global estimates;
- Assess regional vulnerability to global change (i.e. climatic and population increase) in the nitrogen cycle due to human activities and the impacts on ecosystem function and services;
- Assess the main effects due to nitrogen alterations on the ecosystem biodiversity, function and services;
- Promote capacity building activities;
- Summarize the current state of nitrogen science in Latin America, to provide summary information for the development of environmentally sustainable public policies which can be used to education a broad audience.
The INI Latin America Centre works collaboratively with the InterAmerican Institute for Global Change Research and REDE CLIMA, as well Universities and research institutes in the Region