Innovations for a sustainable future: rising to the challenge of nitrogen greenhouse gas management in Latin America

Publicado en Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, v. 9–10:73-81

Bustamante, M., Martinelli, L.A., Ometto, J.P.H.B., do Carmo, J.B., Jaramillo, V., Gavito, M.E., Araujo, P.I., Austin, A.T., Pérez, T. and Marquina, S.

Año de publicación 2014
  • Departamento de Ecologia, Universidade de Brasília, Brasília CEP 70910-900, Brazil
  • CENA-Universidade de São Paulo, Avenida Centenário 303, 13416-000 Piracicaba, SP, Brazil
  • Centro de CIência do Sistema Terrestre. Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, Av. dos Astronautas, 1758 São José dos Campos, SP, Brazil
  • Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Campus Sorocaba, Rodovia João Leme dos Santos, km 110, SP 264, Itinga, 18052-780 Sorocaba, SP, Brazil
  • Centro de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México A.P. 27-3 Santa María de Guido, C.P. 58090, Morelia, Michoacán, México.
  • IFEVA-CONICET, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires C1417DSE, Argentina
  • Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas, Caracas, Venezuela




Proyecto CRN3005


•Latin America can significantly contribute to the mitigation of N2O emissions.

•Mitigation of N2O emissions from agriculture requires an integrated approach.

•Major goals include the evaluation of N2O sources and technological innovation.


Latin America encompasses a dizzying array of ecosystems and socioeconomic models, and the region will be highly vulnerable to the projected impacts of climate change in the next century. At the same time, Latin America can significantly contribute to the mitigation of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions within a sustainable development framework. Land use conversion with associated biomass burning, agriculture with N fertilizers and animal waste are the main anthropogenic sources of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in the region, and have increased markedly in the last decades. Effective sustainable management for the mitigation of N2O emissions requires the proper evaluation of all sources, many of which are still roughly estimated or unknown, testing alternatives to reduce primary sources, and technological innovation for higher resource-use efficiency within the farm. Current barriers might be overcome through policies that support sustainable practices that reduce negative environmental impacts and simultaneously maintaining ecosystem function and services.