Brussels, 4 December, 1997

COST 832

Quantifying the Agricultural Contribution to Eutrophication

Draft Minutes

1st Management Committee Meeting

Square de Meeûs 8, Brussels

Friday, 28 November 1997, 10.00 - 17.00


Draft Agenda

1. Welcome to participants

2. Adoption of the agenda

3. Presentation of the delegations

4. General information on the COST mechanism

5. Status of COST Action 832

6. Agreement on the internal rules of procedure for the COST Action

832 Management Committee - decision on secretariat

7. Election of chairperson and vice-chairperson

8. Working plan for the implementation of COST Action 832

- objectives and working program

- working method - organization and management

- distribution of tasks

- time-table

9. Place and date of next meeting

10. Miscellaneous


1. Welcome to participants

The Scientific Secretary, Hannes Schüepp from the Commission COST Secretariat, opened the meeting and welcomed the participants.


2. Adoption of the agenda

The Agenda was approved.


3. Presentation of the delegations

Delegates from 15 countries were present (see list of participants). Each participant introduced himself and explained his interest in the Action. The Action had been proposed by Paul J.A.Withers, UK. The draft of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was finalised 14/03/97 (COST 228/97).


4. General information on the COST mechanism

H.Schüepp, COST Secretariat, Brussels, informed about the rules and the procedure applicable to COST. The delegates had been supplied in advance with the following documents:

1. Rules and procedure for implementing COST Actions

2. Rules and procedure for the Management Committee of COST

Action 832

3. Financing of COST activities in 1997 from the COST budget

4. Short-term scientific missions (STSM)

5. Commission rules for reimbursement of Experts' expenses

In particular it was noted that COST is a system for coordinating nationally funded research, that participation in an Action is voluntary and based on the active interest of countries involved and that the work takes the form of concerted action governed by a Management Committee (MC). It was further emphasized that the members of the MC are National Delegates and must ensure the flow of information about the Action within their respective countries.


5. Status of COST Action 832

The Action had been signed or will be signed within the next few weeks by 15 countries, A, B, DK, FIN, D, GR, H, IRL, I, N, E, S, CH, NL, UK. The period of validity of the Action is from 10/7/97 to 9/7/02.

[note:  the countries Poland and Romania were added to the Action]

[note: A=Austria, B=Belgium, DK=Denmark, FIN=Finland, D=Germany, GR=Greece, H=Hungary, IRL=Ireland, I=Italy, N=Norway, E=Spain, S=Sweden, CH=Switzerland, NL=The Netherlands, UK=United Kingdom]


6. Agreement on the internal rules of procedure for the COST

Action 832 Management Committee - decision on secretariat

The rules of procedure were approved, except the first sentence of Article 8, which reads now "Meetings of the MC shall be officially held only if at least 50% of the signatories are represented" instead of two-thirds. The Scientific Secretary of COST Action 832 will be Hannes Schüepp.


7. Election of chairperson and vice-chairperson

The Management Committee unanimously elected Paul Withers, UK, Chairman and Wim Chardon, NL, vice-Chairman of COST 832.


8 Working plan for the implementation of COST Action 832

It was decided to install four Working Groups. The titles of the Working Groups were modified as follows:


Working Group 1 "Phosphorus Inputs from Agriculture"

Coordinator: Jean-Pierre Destain, B

Objective: To unify decision support systems for phosphorus inputs in different farming systems.

Plan: This group will compare the principles upon which farm decisions on P inputs in feeds and fertilizers are based and develop methodologies which will quantify the fate of P inputs following application to the soil. Specific themes to include a comparison of recommendation systems for feeds and fertilizers, standardization of soil P tests and the development of EU models


Working Group 2 "Phosphorus Losses at the Field Scale"

Coordinator: Oscar F. Schoumans, NL

Objective: To develop a common understanding of the mechanisms of phosphorus loss at the field scale.

Plan: This group will develop an understanding of the cycling of inorganic and organic P in different soils and the mechanisms by which phosphorus is lost indirectly through erosion and leaching, and more directly following application of fertilizers and manure which are left on the soil surface. Methodologies for measuring the amounts, forms, pathways and processes of loss will be compared and novel techniques reviewed.


Working Group 3 "Phosphorus Losses at the Catchment Scale"

Coordinator: Paul J.A.Withers, UK (temporary appointment)

Objective: To develop a conceptual framework for modelling phosphorus loss at the catchment scale.

Plan: This group will develop an understanding of the processes of phosphorus transfer at the catchment scale and develop appropriate methodologies to define critical source areas. Specific themes to include de development of catchment hydrology - phosphorus loss relationships, methodologies to quantify the relative contribution of stream-bank / stream-bed erosion an mechanisms of phosphorus retention within catchments of different sizes and a comparison of empirical v process-based models for estimating catchment losses of phosphorus.


Working Group 4 "Impacts of Diffused Phosphorus on Water Quality"

Coordinator: Sotiris Orfanidis, GR

Objective: To identify potential methodologies for quantifying the impact of agriculturally-derived phosphorus on water quality.

Plan: This group will compare existing and new methodologies for measuring different forms of transported phosphorus, the bio-availability of the different forms and the potential impacts on aquatic organisms. The feasability of developing a unified approach to assessing impacts on different water bodies will be investigated.


NB: It is anticipated that working groups 1 and 2 will always convene at the same time and place in order that they can coordinate their activities to work towards developing a conceptual model or models of phosphorus flows at the field scale in different farming systems.

Similarly it is envisaged that working groups 3 and 4 should convene together to give mutual benefit.



9. Place and date of next meetings


The second MCM was decided to be held together with Meetings of the Working Groups 1 and 2 in Belfast (UK), 17-20 June 1998, jointly with an OECD conference on "Practical an innovative measures for the control of agricultural phosphorus losses to water".

[note: this was changed into: no MC-Meeting; meeting of all 4 WG's on 15+16 June 1998


It was decided that the chairman, vice-chairman and the coordinators of the working groups will meet in Brussels in March 1998 to formulate primary/secondary objectives and the study topics of the working groups, an other organizational items relating to the next MCM and the meetings of the working groups.


The Working Groups 3 and 4 have been decided to hold their first meeting in autumn 1998.


10. Miscellaneous


The Chairman, Paul Withers, agreed to act as coordinator for Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM) of COST 832 and will resume the responsibility as Administrating Institute. The evaluation and the approval of the requests for STSM was delegated to a referee committee comprising: Wim Chardon (Vice-Chairman), NL; Peter Strauss, A; José Torrent, E, and G. Hofman, B.


Requests for STSMs should be sent to the Chairman of the Action.



Paul J.A. Withers

Hannes Schüepp

Chairman COST 832

COST Secretariat