Dutch Nitrogen Tour: Tackling nitrogen deposition in Natura 2000 areas requires an integrated approach
The Dutch integrated approach to nitrogen (or PAS, from the Dutch Programmatische Aanpak Stikstof) was the subject of a two-day study tour in the north-east of the Netherlands. Forty participants from Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands and the UK visited two Natura 2000 sites affected by high levels of nitrogen deposition and a dairy farm applying innovative management measures for emission reduction, as part of the Natura 2000 Field Trial Project. The visits were introduced by a series of presentations on the policy background, sectoral approaches and site and farm management measures.
The three key elements of the Dutch approach are nitrogen mitigation, increasing habitat resilience through restoration, and creating room for economic development. Underpinning this approach is the online, open source tool AERIUS, that allows all users to calculate the impacts of development projects (such as a road or a barn) in terms of nitrogen deposition on neighbouring Natura 2000 habitats. For policymakers and regulators, AERIUS also allows the cumulative impacts of different plans and projects to be monitored and the registration of all planning permit applications. As part of this study tour, participants were also given a first introduction on how to use this tool.
Aspects of the Dutch approach that particularly interested the participants were the challenges posed by the continued high rates of deposition, the opportunities of farm management to reduce emissions, the success of science-driven restoration strategies as coordinated by the OBN network, and the high levels of financial support available for restoration under the PAS.
A report of the study tour will follow in due course.
- Dutch Nitrogen Tour - Introduction, Mark Snethlage, ECNC
- Nitrogen and Natura2000 - Dutch approach for dealing with this challenge, Bas Clabbers, Ministry of Economic Affairs
- Caveat Emptor AERIUS, Mark Wilmot, RIVM
- Natura 2000 and Nitrogen deposition in the Atlantic region - results from the JNCC 2013 workshop, Clare Whitfield, JNCC, UK