Strategic environmental impact assessment for Dutch agricultural policy
With the Common Agricultural Policy 2023-2027 (CAP), the EU describes the route to more sustainable agriculture. In the National Strategic Plan (NSP-CAP), the Central Government describes the interventions for which it uses the European subsidy funds for agriculture in the Netherlands within the framework of the Common Agricultural Policy 2023-2027.
For approval of the National Strategic Plan by the EU, an accompanying strategic environmental impact assessment (S-EIA) is required. Witteveen+Bos and the Louis Bolk Institute were commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality to draw up the strategic environmental impact assessment.
The aim of this environmental impact assessment is to give the environment a valuable role in the decision making about the National Strategic Plan. In the strategic environmental impact assessment, the environmental impact of two research alternatives was studied.
With different interventions, both alternatives give their own interpretation of the National Strategic Plan and sketch the corners of the playing field in which policy choices are made for the National Strategic Plan. The strategic environmental impact assessment provides insight into the scope of various interventions for soil, water, ecology, closing cycles and animal well-being.
The strategic environmental impact assessment was developed in a very short timeframe because alternatives could only be defined late in the process. The challenge was to translate the abstract frameworks in the national strategic plan, in which subsidies are allocated, into concrete measures, whose (possible) environmental impact could be identified at national level. Partly thanks to the findings of the strategic environmental impact assessment, choices were made about the interpretation of the National Strategic Plan.