Scientists and intellectuals Sunday stressed prevention of degradation of ecosystems across the globe as it is a prerequisite to end poverty, combat climate change and save natural gift of biodiversity and above all ensure food security. The scientists were speaking at a webinar, titled “Sustainable nitrogen management for ecosystem restoration”, organised by the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (UAF), in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), International Nitrogen Initiative (INI), South Asia Nitrogen Hub, Global Partnership on Nutrient Management (GPNM) and the Ministry of Climate Change, Govt of Pakistan. About 888 participants joined the webinar from around the globe. UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Anas Sarwar Qureshi said that humanity was facing an enormous challenge to secure adequate food production for the rising population, projected to reach 9.1 billion in 2050. He praised the government’s 10 billion tree tsunami project and ecosystem restoration fund, which was being appreciated by the global community. Considering the urgency of tackling the nitrogen pollution, he said that we need to see a major upscaling of efforts from all walks of life, and across all sectors including government, academia, policymakers, scientists, private sectors and society. He said that in addition to water shortage, lack of agricultural inputs, especially nitrogen fertiliser, soil salinisation, and poor irrigation practices are major factors for low crop yields. Furthermore, climate change also is posed to affect agricultural production adversely. Keeping in view climate changes and water scarcity in view, we have to adopt modern agriculture practices. There is dire need for stepped up efforts for fighting the climate changes, environmental pollution and others. Joyce Msuya, Deputy Executive Director UNEP, emphasised that nitrogen pollution was a big challenge as it affects ecosystems in many ways like biodiversity loss, polluting fresh water resources and marine ecosystems, climate change and stratospheric ozone depletion. She also introduced the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration on the eve of World Environment Day. The decade calls for the protection and revival of ecosystems all around the world with focus on resetting our relation with nature. Prof Dr Javed Akhtar, Dean Faculty of Agriculture, UAF, also highlighted the importance of nitrogen for food security and the need for its sustainable management. He added that awareness is lacking among general public and policymakers regarding the importance and scale of nitrogen pollution, hence such awareness campaigns at the government and local scales are immediately needed. Dr Tariq Aziz from the UAF discussed the importance of nitrogen for food security as 50% of global food production relies on use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers. To feed the ever-increasing population, nitrogen use has been increased tremendously during the last 6 decades globally particularly in South Asia and China without realizing the negative impacts of excessive and insufficient nitrogen use on water quality, air quality, health, biodiversity loss, climate change and ecosystem. Thus sustainable nitrogen management is key towards achieving most of the sustainable development goals. He also introduced an upcoming book “Nitrogen Assessment; Pakistan as a case study”, which is going to be published in September 2021- a first of its kind in Pakistan having compiled the available data on nitrogen use, sources, sinks, drivers and possible measures to cope with N pollution. Prof. Mark Sutton from the UK Centre of Ecology and Hydrology introduced the South Asia Nitrogen Hub and the importance and urgency of tackling nitrogen pollution. He discussed the ambitious Columbo Declaration to halve nitrogen waste by 2030 that would generate US$100 billion in savings and foster innovation in agriculture, energy and transport sectors. Prof N Raghuram, Director International Nitrogen Initiative (INI) discussed the importance of sustainable nitrogen management with special emphasis on South Asia, the hotspot for nitrogen pollution. Dr Stefanie from German Ministry of Environment presented the Berlin Declaration which was adopted during the INI 8th global conference on June 3. Dr Zammanth Khalil from SACEP, Prof Jill Baronfrom USGS, Dr Mahesh and Milcah from UNEP, Dr Abdul Wakeel and Dr Aysha Kiran from the UAF also shared their views on the various aspects of the topic.