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Ficosterra capstone event

Industrial fertilizers remain indispensable in agriculture and have created a global pollution challenge. In place of unavailable organic fertilizers, farmers have resorted to synthetic fertilizers that are quite high in nutrient content which stimulate the rapid growth of plants. However, its use ultimately leads to the degradation of soil structure that results in nutrient loss from soils through leaching and gas emission. Excess nutrients that run off from land escape to the waterways and end up into the ocean that exacerbate marine pollution. While inorganic fertilizer is often more affordable and accessible in the short term, the imbalance it brings to nature is long term and costly. 

Startup Ficosterra, one of the first cohort of eight innovators selected to fight marine pollution, sought support for the pilot test of Nutrialgae, a novel suite of sustainable algae-based fertilizers that aim to address nutrient pollution from agriculture. The OIC supported Ficosterra in conducting field and laboratory tests in Mexico and Morocco to scientifically validate the efficacy of seaweed in producing nature-based fertilizers that are cost-effective and readily accessible.  

The final results of the tests revealed Three Wins for people and the planet: 

  • Nature wins by reducing carbon footprint and nutrient runoff; 

  • Farmers win by increasing crop yield; and 

  • Consumers win by accessing healthier food for themselves and the planet. 

Now on their final month in the OIC programme, Ficosterra is proud to share through this capstone event the outcomes of their OIC journey, lessons learned, and success stories, which are ready to be replicated by farmers and coastal communities looking to create sustainable livelihoods while saving the ocean. 

The event includes interpretation in Spanish and French.

 

16:30 – 16:35
Istanbul Time

5 mins 

Opening Remarks 

Dr. Mary Matthews, UNDP OIC Manager, Ocean Advisor, and Acting Head of the Water and Ocean Governance Programme 

 

16:36 – 16:43 

7 mins 

Global Nutrient Management Challenge: Keeping nutrients on the field 

How nutrient management in agriculture is steering the ocean’s health  

Prof. Mark Sutton, Environmental physicist based at the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology in Edinburgh, lead of the UNEP/GEF International Nitrogen Management System, and former chair of the International Nitrogen Initiative (INI) 

 

16:44 – 17:04 

20 mins 

Nutrialgae: A Triple Win Ocean Solution to Nutrient Pollution  

Presentation of Ficosterra’s outputs and outcomes, and development plan 

Mr. Luis Lombana, CEO of Ficosterra, Spain 

Dr. Diana Cuesta, Project coordinator and Marine Biologist, Ficosterra, Spain 

 

17:05 – 17:15 

10 mins 

 

 

 

Cultivating Nutrialgae: From OIC incubation to global solution  

Panel discussion 

Moderator: Ms. Sabine Dolan, UNDP OIC Fundraising Expert  

Mr. Luis Lombana, CEO, Ficosterra 

Prof. Mark Sutton, Environmental physicist based at the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology in Edinburgh, lead of the UNEP/GEF International Nitrogen Management System, and former chair of the International Nitrogen Initiative (INI) 

 

17:16 – 17:26 

10 mins 

Open mic and reactions 

An opportunity for the participants to ask questions and provide feedback. 

 

  • Ms. Itziar Martín Partida, Deputy Director General of Sea Protection of the Spanish Government 
  • Ms. Montserrat Torices, Head of Entrepreneurship of Institute for Business Competitiveness, Castilla and León Regional Government

 

17:27 – 17:30 

3 mins 

Concluding Remarks  

 

Dr. Mary Matthews, UNDP OIC Manager, Ocean Advisor, and Acting Head of the Water and Ocean Governance Programme 

 

 

Watch the recording below.