Nutrient pollution is one of the most significant environmental issues of our time, driven by the oversupply of fertilizer and manure to agricultural land. Most policies focus on changing farmer behavior, which is extremely difficult, largely ineffective and a major reason why pollution levels continue to rise. A more creative governance framework that can avoid the pitfalls of farmer-focused policies while spurring reductions in agricultural nutrient pollution is critical. Consequently, the core objective of the Governing Nutrient Pollution Beyond Farmers project is to design a new governance framework to address agricultural nutrient pollution in the US and the EU aimed at agri-food system actors beyond the farm capable of influencing farm-level nutrient management – from fertilizer companies to multinational retailers. Doing so would shift the regulatory burden away from the farmer and transform an intractable non-point source problem into a series o f more manageable point source approaches.
David Kanter is an Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at New York University and Vice-Chair of the International Nitrogen Initiative. His research examines new policy options for addressing nutrient pollution and how to manage the transition to a global agri-food system consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals. Prior to his current position, David was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at The Earth Institute at Columbia University. He received his BSc in Chemistry and Law from the University of Bristol in the UK and his MA and PhD in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy from Princeton University.