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Abstract

Phosphorus (P) is an essential element to all living beings but also a finite resource. P-related problems center around broken P cycles from local to global scales. This paper presents outcomes from the 9th International Phosphorus Workshop (IPW9) held 2019 on how to move towards a sustainable P management. It is based on two sequential discussion rounds with all participants. Important progress was reported regarding the awareness of P as finite mineable resource, technologies to recycle P, and legislation towards a circular P economy. Yet, critical deficits were identified such as how to handle legacy P, how climate change may affect ecosystem P cycling, or working business models to up-scale existing recycling models. Workshop participants argued for more transdisciplinary networks to narrow a perceived science-practice/policy gap. While this gap may be smaller in reality as illustrated with a Swiss example, we formulate recommendations how to bridge this gap more effectively.

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