Phosphorus sustainability through coordinated stakeholder engagement: a perspective

Alison Deviney, Khara Grieger, Ashton Merck, John Classen, Anna Maria Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In this Perspective we take an in-depth look at what coordinated stakeholder engagement could entail for phosphorus sustainability. The element phosphorus is critical to life on Earth and to the continued functioning of society as we know it. Yet, how society uses phosphorus is currently unsustainable, both as a resource in support of global food production where inequitable distribution creates food security challenges, but also from an environmental aspect, where mismanagement has led to negative impacts on the quality of agricultural soils, human health, and freshwater and marine ecosystems. A number of initiatives and cross-sector consortia have come together to address sustainable phosphorus management at either global or regional scales. However, these efforts could benefit from a more coordinated approach to stakeholder engagement to identify the diversity of needs and perspectives involved in this complex challenge. Herein we examine some examples of different approaches to developing such coordinated stakeholder engagement in other areas of environmental sustainability. We consider how to apply the lessons learned from those efforts toward stakeholder coordination in the realm of phosphorus sustainability. Particularly, we discuss the value of a coordinating body to manage the communications and knowledge sharing necessary to develop trust and cooperation among diverse stakeholder groups and to transition society to more sustainable phosphorus use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-378
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironment Systems and Decisions
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • Phosphorus sustainability
  • Stakeholder coordination
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Sustainability transitions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science


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