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NATURAL RESOURCE ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN THE NETHERLANDS

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AGRICULTURE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies      

The Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries is in charge of sustainable agriculture and rural development.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The following legislation supports national policy: Soil Protection Act (1986), Fertilizers Act (1986), Pesticides Act (1962), Surface Waters Pollution Act (1969), Wastes Act (1977), Nuisance Act (1981), Land Planning Act, Animal Medication Act, Nature Conservation Act, Forest Law, Environment Law, Fisheries Act.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Agricultural Structure Memorandum of 1990 provides a coherent national policy framework for sustainable agriculture and rural development. This policy document presents the Dutch government's guiding principles for the agricultural sector. The Netherlands aims at a "competitive, safe and sustainable agriculture". The principles are elaborated in subsequent memoranda, such as the Memorandum on Quality in Agriculture, the Policy Document on Manure and Ammonia, the Multi-year Crop Protection Plan, the Structure Plan for the Rural Areas, the Forestry Policy Plan and the Nature Policy Plan. Agriculture also plays an important role with regards to policies concerning water scarcity and protection of the aquatic environment.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement    

The Ministry of Development Cooperation has established close cooperation with NGOs on the subject of stimulating ecologically sustainable agriculture. NGOS have been encouraged to seek a dialogue with multilateral organizations such as FAO and UNDP.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No  information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

Some programmes run by the European Union to support sustainable agriculture supply funds for regional structural development projects in the Netherlands. The Netherlands is actively involved in CGIAR and FAO and organized the Den Bosch Conference on agriculture and the environment in 1991, which laid the basis of chapter 14 in the UNCED process. Twenty percent of Dutch ODA is allocated to agriculture and rural development focussing on sustainable land use, sustainable livestock production and integrated pest management. Bilateral agreements on scientific cooperation have been signed with Indonesia.

* * *

This information is based on The Netherlands's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

For Measuring Environmental Progress: Agriculture, click here.
For country reports on Plant Genetic Resources, click here.
To access the FAOSTAT Data Base for information by country, item, element and year, click here:
Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to link to Country and Sub-regional Information on Plant Genetic Resources of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations.
Click here to go to Web Site of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which includes information on the Codex Alimentarius and the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme.
Click here to access the Web Site of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).
Click here to access the sixteen international agricultural research centers that are members of the CGIAR.

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ATMOSPHERE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment has the lead in dealing with the issue of atmospheric pollution. To the extent that the pollutants emerge from the energy, industry, transport and agricultural sectors, the relevant ministries are also involved in the policymaking process.    

Decision-making in The Netherlands, in general, begins at the level of co-operation between civil servants in different departments of one ministry, and then there is inter-ministerial co-operation between different ministries and the documents are prepared and sent to the minister for approval.  Then it goes to Parliament for approval. 

Since the climate change issue is a global issue, decisions on this are mostly taken at ministerial level and at EU level. But, since measures to deal with climate change are intimately connected with production and consumption patterns the government has a policy of actively communicating with the local authorities and stakeholders in order to secure their support for far reaching measures. Measures in relation to acidification policy are developed at central government level but also with support from the provincial governments because they are involved in the implementation of the policy.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The following is the main legislation referring to this chapter: Second National Environmental Policy Plan (December 1993), Government Policy on Air Pollution and Aviation (August 1995), Action Plan for Sustainable Development (September 1995), Environmental Management Act.

The key laws in this field are:

In addition there are policy documents, white papers and the National Environmental Policy Plans.  Examples of other policy plans include: the Climate Change Implementation Plan and the Action Programme on Energy Conservation.   The atmospheric pollution issues are not independent of other issue areas; in general, the policies in this area are focused on energy, agriculture and nature policy. 

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans    

There is a detailed strategy for protecting the atmosphere. It can be divided into the categories air pollution and climate change. Air pollution and acid rain are covered by detailed policies on acidification. Concerning climate change, The Netherlands has developed the Climate Policy Implementation Plan to meet its Kyoto target. These are outlined in the Third National Environmental Policy Plan and will be updated in 2001 in the Fourth National Environmental Policy Plan.

Greenhouse gas emissions:

The Dutch government has developed an action plan to meet its Kyoto target (Climate Policy Implementation Plan) which includes:

·   a basic package that is implemented now (such as measures in relation to coal-fired plants, the energy efficiency and renewable energy target, policies for the traffic and transport sector);

·   a reserve package which is seen as a safety net in case the other package is not enough. This includes a further increase in the Regulatory Energy Tax, an increase in the excise duty on motor fuels, underground storage of CO2, and a reduction of N2O emissions from chemical industry; and

·   an innovation package aimed at developing new technologies and new policy instruments to support the government in achieving the necessary reductions.

Also, the CO2 Reduction Plan Project Bureau is a cooperative alliance between the Dutch executive organisations Novem and Senter. It functions as a coordination point for all aspects of the climate policy. The bureau supports the government in the preparation of subsidy schemes and goes on to implement such schemes in practice. It thus oversees large-scale investment projects which would not normally be conducted without additional support, the financial risk being too great.

The Reduction Plan of other Greenhouse Gases introduced measures to reduce N2O and CH4 from the agricultural sector.  The Action Programme on Energy Conservation and the Action Programme on Renewable Energy are two other energy-related programmes that are key for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

In addition the government will also participate in all the international flexibility mechanisms.

Terrestrial and marine resource development for greenhouse gas sinks:

The government has four strategies to enhance sinks.

Substances that deplete the ozone layer:

The Netherlands is reducing the use of ozone depleting substances by adopting and implementing EU regulations on the subject. The multinationals in The Netherlands are taking actions to reduce emissions of ozone depleting substances. The main programme to enforce EU regulations in The Netherlands is the Green Interpole exercise.

Transboundary air pollution:

The transboundary air pollution strategy is linked to the national and European emission reduction policy for several target groups, for example measures in the framework of the National Transport and Traffic Act.  The Memorandum Vehicle Technique and fuels include measures to limit NOx emissions through road transport.

Mitigating transboundary air pollution:

The goals for the different issues are as follows:

2-3 years

10 years (base year 1990)

Climate Change

n/a

-6%

Conserving and increasing greenhouse gas sinks

n/a

n/a

Mitigating ozone depletion

Phase out of methylbromide

Phase out of HCFCs with a cap of 1.5%

Mitigating transboundary air pollution

n/a

-    120 from 574 kton of NOx

-    54 from 232 kton NH3

-    56 from 202 for SO2

-    117 from 444 for VOC

Source: NEPP 3, and Milieu compendium 2000.

The Government promotes policies and programmes in the areas of environmentally sound and efficient transportation, industrial pollution control, sound land-use practices, sound management of the marine ecosystem and management of toxic and other hazardous waste.

With regard to coastal defence policy development, several scenarios have considered the impact on marine resources. The Government supports the conservation and enhancement of sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases in various ways:

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

Major Groups have made contributions to implement climate change activities in the programme areas "promoting sustainable development," "preventing stratospherique ozone depletion" and "transboundary atmospheric pollution".  Under the FACE initiative the organization of electricity producers has been working in recent years on joint implementatiion projects in which forests are planted or adopted in other countries to preserve sinks.

The Dutch system does not close out the participation of any specific group in the policy making process; but at present women, youth, indigenous people (not applicable) and farmers are not actively involved in the policy making process. Policy for these groups is mainly focussed on awareness raising and public support. NGOs, local authorities, business and industry, the scientific community and the trade unions have a greater influence on the process, with business and industry and NGOs taking the lead. These groups, mainly business and industry, farmers, and local authorities have also an important role to play in the implementation of the policy.

Given the uncertainty of the exact location of the impacts of climate change and ozone layer depletion, it is difficult to pin point which groups in society will be most affected by these impacts.

Programmes and Projects   

The measures to reduce industrial emissions of greenhouse gases include:  

An Environmental Tax on Waste entered into force in 1995 to raise the price of landfilling in order to encourage other means of disposing of waste.  The Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation, which entered into force in 1997, complements the Environmental Tax on Waste as it obliges producers to reduce the amount of packaging, to recycle packaging waste, and to report on the achievements in these fields.  The use of methylbromide in agriculture is prohibited in The Netherlands.      

The government also has four strategies which might promote sinks – the Nature Policy, the Key Planning Decisions on the Wadden Sea, a forest extension programme, and the use of wood in construction and aims to manage existing sinks to increase biomass.

The Government has established a National Programme on Atmospheric Pollution and Climate Change, which is a cooperative research programme of several ministries. The NOP secretariat identifies research priorities and allocates funding for related research. In addition, the Royal Academy of Science has, inter alia, established a Human Dimensions Programme that also stimulates research on climate change. The Netherlands Scientific Organisation funds programmes for research on various issues including environmental issues.  The government also promotes research initiatives that aim at finding alternatives to methylbromide for disinfections purposes as well as research examining to what extent ozone depleting substances can be further reduced. 

Status   

In relation to the general impact of atmospheric changes in the country, the following points can be noted. Even though the life expectancy has increased from 35 years to 75 years in the last century, high concentrations of dust particles and ozone in the air along with increased UV radiation and high level of noise threaten human health.  Also, the number of people with skin cancer is expected to rise as a result of increased UV radiation. The UV radiation has increased by 6-7% in 1999 compared to 1980.  The soil and vegetation are also being affected by acid deposition in The Netherlands.  Acid deposition is now 300 600 z-eq/ha which is much higher than the aim of 2400 z-eq/ha. On the positive side, the growing season has lasted about 3 weeks longer in the last few years which could increase the contribution of the agricultural sector to the national economy.   

Assuming that there will not be a policy in place curbing atmospheric pollution problems, the different scenarios indicate that total greenhouse gas emissions will increase by 13% to 15% between 1990 and 2010 (See graph below). The growth has been so far greatest in traffic and transport groups and in energy companies. Emissions of non-CO2 greenhouse gases are expected to fall by 10% to 15% by 2010 compared to 1990, due to sharp decline in CH4 emissions.  N2O emissions will stabilise while emissions of HFCs, PFCs and SF6 will increase.  The Table below presents emissions per sector and their respective reduction by 2010. The policy goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emission by 6% compared to 1990 emission level by 2010.

Sector

Emissions in 2010 in Mtonnes CO2-eq. and %

Reductions in 2010 in Mtonnes CO2-eq. and %

Industry (including refineries)

89 (33%)

10.0 (11.2%)

Energy companies

61 (24%)

8.0 (13.1%)

Agriculture

28 (11%)

2.0 (7.0%)

Traffic

40 (15%)

3.0 (7.4%)

Households

23 (9%)

2.3 (10.0%)

Trade, services, government

12 (5%)

1.0 (8.3%)

Other

6 (3%)

--

 

           

 See also Environmental Compendium (www.rivm.nl/milieucompendium/)

CFCs, halons, tetracarbonchloride and 1,1,1 trichlorethane were phased out by 1995 with the exception of the production for the essential use of developing countries.  Since 1995, only recycled CFCs and halons are used in The Netherlands in accordance with international agreements, resulting in significant reductions of the emissions of these gases.  Emissions of HCFCs and HFCs are still increasing.  (NEPP 3).

Challenges  

Most of the environmental issues in The Netherlands are very much under control. Among the problematic issue areas, is the issue of greenhouse gas emissions from the transport and energy sectors. Liberalisation of the latter may lead to changes in domestic emission levels.            

The phase out of ozone depleting substances is under control. Acid pollution and greenhouse gas emissions face certain institutional challenges.  In agricultural policy the problem is partly a result of the extensive dependence on animal husbandry and cultivation practices and related emissions.  The high population density in The Netherlands and the need of land for agricultural purposes make it very challenging to increase greenhouse gas sinks in the country. 

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

Training opportunities are being provided in the field of transboundary atmospheric air pollution control. National capacity for observation and assessment, research and information exchange in this area is rated "very good".

The government has contributed to increase public awareness, through, inter alia, advertisements on television and in newspapers, and has established education programmes for consumers since the first National Environmental Policy Plan.  During the second plan period, the dialogue between citizens and the government matured and many cities discussed environmental issues and sustainable development within the framework of the Local Agenda 21.  Because of the immense complexity in the relationships between consumption and production patterns and environmental issues, the government believes that it is vital to have social support for achieving far reaching changes to the economy.  That is why they engage actively in discussions with consumers.    

Different schools have different programmes to educate their students on environmental issues; but there is no national programme in this area.  

There are several research programmes for innovative technology, curriculum building and knowledge exchange for sustainable development and environment. Examples are: Program Economy, Ecology and Technology (EET); Program Environment & Technology; DTO/KOV Knowledge exchange and anchoring; and the knowledge programme ICES/KIS for sustainable economic development. These are however not solely focused on atmosphere.

Information   

See information at: http://www.rivm.nl/ieweb/ieweb/index.html?databases.html on assessment programmes, databases and research tools in the area of climate change and transboundary air pollution of the RIVM.             

Scientific data is made available to the general public through advertisements, publications, policy documents, brochures and through the web sites of various organisations and through different brochures. Web sites are:

                       http://www.minvrom.nl/minvrom/pagina.html?id=1306

            http://www.rivm.nl/milieucompendium/

            http://www.rivm.nl/ieweb/ieweb/index.html?databases.html     

The Government and the related affiliated institutes (RIVM, etc.) publish brochures and documents, and their web sites provide information to concerned industry and citizens. Public policies are also extensively debated in the national media. The Netherlands also shares its information at the international level, through developing web sites and publications in English (and sometimes in other EU languages) and actively distributes information through the journals Change, Joint Implementation Quarterly and Environmental News from The Netherlands is made available internationally.

Government studies were carried out on health effects from all priority substances. The Government, the scientific community and NGOs also carried out studies on air pollution and ozone layer depletion.

Since the mid '70s there has been systematic and comprehensive observation of all air substances, but emission controls from maritime transport and "other mobile resources" are limited.  In the field of transboundary atmospheric air pollution control the Government facilitates exchange of data and information at the national and international level. The Dutch National Air Quality Monitoring Network was revised in 1994.  In the field of air quality control, the national early warning system, the national capacity to predict changes and fluctuations and national level capacity building and training are all rated "excellent".

Research and Technologies   

The Government encourages industry to develop safe technologies by policy development and implementation, financial support, research and development and economic incentives.

To numerous to be named here, an overview of used technologies and assessments for atmospheric changes can be found on the website of the RIVM (National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection): http://www.rivm.nl/ieweb/ieweb/index.html

The RIVM Climate Change Research Team has developed the IMAGE-model and the FAIR-model evaluating and measuring climate change. See the website for extensive information: http://www.rivm.nl/ieweb/ieweb/index.html

The Netherlands is in the process of both developing technologies and can purchase technologies from other countries for the purpose of environmental protection.

Financing   

For an overview of financial incentives for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, see the table below.   These incentives are provided by the government. 

Table. Overview of Financial Incentives for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

            

 

Industry

Energy

Agriculture

Traffic and Transport

Trade,

Services

and Government

House-holds

Other Greenhouse gases

Total

EIA

 

401

452 (EIA

21 (EIN)

94

48

276

X

x

1279 (EIA)

229 (EINP)

VAMIL

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

x

619

Green Mutual Funds

 

0

184

265

0

15

348

x

811

Energy Subsidies

 

x

x

x

x

x

0

x

0

CO2 Reduction Plan

Investments for projects until 2011

248

2326

3

236

535

0

x

3348

Committed subsidies until 2011

52

331

1

60

59

0

x

503

Expected CO2 reductions in Mtons

0.5

1.4

0.03

0.9

0.5

0

x

3

Regulatory Energy Tax

 

x

47

x

x

x

X

x

47

Incentive for Energy Conservation

 

55

3

5

9

 

42

x

114

Incentive for Renewable Energy

 

 

50

 

 

 

6

x

56

Other Green-house gas Reduction Plan

 

x

x

x

x

x

X

0.4

0.4

Source: Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal, Verantwoording Klimaatbeleid (October 3rd 2000), no. 27 442.

There are several research programmes and investment schemes related to environment and sustainable development.

Green Taxes have been introduced in The Netherlands to raise revenue.  The revenue raised by the Environmental Tax on Waste is estimated to be about 390 million NLG per year and it is expected to diminish as the amount of waste land filled is reduced.  Although the revenue from Green Taxes is not earmarked for environmental policy, it is allocated to the general budget which finances environmental policy as well as other policy fields.

The government has set national goals to phase-out CFCs and other ozone depleting substances. It aims to phase out halons by January 1994; CFCs and tetracarbonchloride by January 1995; HCFC's by January 2010 with cap of 1.5%; trichlorethane by January 1996; methylbromide by January 2001. In 1994, The Netherlands contributed US$ 100,000 to the Montreal Trust Fund and US$ 2.6 million to the multilateral ozone fund. In 1995 the contribution was US$ 0.8 million and in 1996 US$ 1.1 million.

Cooperation

There are several bilateral and multilateral cooperation programmes on research and development, technology transfer and other activities related to protection of the atmosphere funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Development Cooperation, the Economic Affairs Ministry and the Ministry of Spatial Planning, Housing and the Environment.

In the framework of the Netherlands development cooperation programmes, 0,1 % of GNP is earmarked annually for international support for environment and development. This amounted to NLG 795 millions in 1999. A considerable percentage of this amount goes to funding bilateral and multilateral projects on urban and rural issues that directly or indirectly lead to the transfer of technologies and knowledge in relation to air pollution. The Government contributes to the Global Environment Facility and to the Multilateral Fund of the Montreal Protocol to assist developing countries and countries with economies in transition in activities in relation to climate change, international waters, biodiversity and introduction of substitutes for ozone depleting substances. The specific funding for the Global Environmental Conventions amounted to NLG 21 millions in 1999.    For more details, see HGIS nota, September 2000.

The Government has also set aside a budget of 500 million NLG over two years to fund projects via the Clean Development Mechanism. Further, it assists developing countries on a bilateral basis through a range of activities; an important capacity building program in this respect is the Netherlands Climate Change Studies Assistance Program, currently implementing programs in 13 developing countries.

·        The 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and 1997 Kyoto Protocol;

·        The Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer  (1985) was ratified in  1988, the Montreal Protocol in 1988, the London Amendment (1990) in 1991, the Copenhagen Amendment (1992) in1994, the Montreal Amendment (1997) in 2000, and the 1999 Beijing Amendment  has yet to be ratified. Under the Vienna Convention, The Netherlands has ratified for the entire Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Netherlands contributes to the Montreal Protocol Fund.  Furthermore, developing countries are assisted on a bilateral basis. 

The Netherlands is party to the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution of 1979 and ratified the Convention in 1982.  In 1984, the Parties to the Convention adopted the 1984 Geneva Protocol on Long-Term Financing of the Co-operative Programme for Monitoring and Evaluation of Long-Range Transmission of Air Pollutants in Europe (EMEP).   The Netherlands is also party to the First Sulphur Protocol (1985), the NOx Protocol (1998), the Volatile Organic Components Protocol (1991) and the Second Sulphur Protocol (1994).  In December 2000, a new treaty was signed on Persistent Organic Pollutants.

For more details on Dutch policy, see the Netherlands Fourth National Environmental Policy Plan (www.minvrom.nl/

Within this global framework of the Washington Action Plan for the protection of the marine environment from land-based activities, attention will be paid to polluting substances which could reach the marine environment via the air. In particular it concerns Persistent Organic Pollutants, radioactive substances, heavy metals and nutrients.   The Netherlands finances a climate study programme in collaboration with developing countries to assess the potential consequences of climate change and develop policy options to tackle these.

The Netherlands is still committed to the goal set in the Final Declaration of the 1992 OSPAR Meeting of reducing, by the year 2000, discharges and emissions of substances which are toxic, persistent and liable to bioaccumulate (specially organohalogen substances) and which could reach the marine environment to levels that are not harmful to man or nature with the aim of their elimination.  Within the framework of the Conference of Ministers Responsible for the Marine Environment of the North Sea it was agreed that the objective is to ensure a sustainable, sound and healthy North Sea.

Regional and international cooperation play an important role in Dutch policy. Concerning transboundary atmospheric pollution, the Netherlands acceded to LRTAP Convention and its Protocols, the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North East Atlantic, the North Sea Ministers Conference, to Memoranda of Understanding with Hungary, Poland, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the USA and to bilateral agreements with neighbouring countries on smog warning systems and air pollution measerment systems. The Netherlands is actively participating in the Prepcom for the ECE Regional Conference on Transport and Environment. UN Organizations and IGOs made contributions to the implementation of climate change activities in all programme areas of this chapter. An energy-efficiency training programme is to be set up between the Netherlands and Eastern European countries.

 

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This information is based on The Netherlands's submission to the 5th and 9th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

Measuring Environmental Progress: Refineries.
Click here for national information from the Web site of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
For the access to the Web Site of the Ozone Secretariat, click here:

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BIODIVERSITY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies       

The Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries is in charge of biodiversity issues. The following ministries are also involved: the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, the Ministry of Transport and Water Management and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Other important legislation related to this chapter includes, among others, the Nature Conservation Act, the Forest Law and the Environment Law. It has been concluded that no additional legal instruments are necessary in order to fulfill the obligations of the Convention for Biodiversity and Agenda 21.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Biodiversity Action Plan of 1995 identified gaps in policies and in the implementation of policies covering biodiversity issues. The Action Plan's target is to achieve sustainable development by the year 2020 by preventing further loss of biodiversity and by increasing biodiversity through restoration and development of habitats and ecological corridors and through sound environment management. Habitat destruction, over-harvesting and pollution were identified as the main causes for biodiversity loss of flora and fauna.

The Nature Policy Plan of the Netherlands laid down a large number of activities for the in situ conservation of ecosystems. Of major importance is the creation of the national ecological network of nationally and internationally important areas. With regard to ex situ protection a number of rehabilitation centres have been supported, e.g. for the otter, seal and badger. Collections of genetic resources have been conserved and expanded.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

Many NGOs were involved in the preparation of the Biodiversity Action Plan. To a large extent the realization of the national policy with regard to biodiversity takes place through rural development projects, in which local communities are fully involved. Many government decisions are only taken after an extensive consultation process.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available 

Status   

No information is available 

Challenges  

No information is available 

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available 

Information   

The state of nature and the environment has at the national level been systematically monitored since 1988, resulting in the publication of two editions of State of Nature, three editions of National Environmental Outlook, and other documents.

A study was carried out on the available and needed capacity with regard to the assessment, study, systematic observation and evaluation of biological diversity. Capacity building will focus on improved cooperation of universities and institutes, data exchange and data assessment for policy decisions.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available 

Financing   

No information is available 

Cooperation

The Convention on Biological Diversity was signed in 1992 and ratified on 12 July 1994. The latest report submitted in 1996.  The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora was ratified before 1 July 1995.

At the international level, Dutch development cooperation supports a large number of initiatives and institutions working in the protection of biodiversity such as IUCN, IIED, WRI and WCMC. In key countries, capacity building activities are supported. Special emphasis is given to the conservation and sustainable use of the tropical rainforest.

At the European level the Dutch government bilaterally and multilaterally supports capacity building in Eastern and Central Europe and the European Centre for Nature Conservation. Many activities are implemented in cooperation with international institutions, such as the European Union. Many Dutch research groups participate in European projects. The Netherlands has participated for many years on biosafety issues in the framework of the OECD, on plant genetic resources issues in the framework of FAO, and in intellectual property rights in the framework of UPOV and WIPO.

 

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This information is based on The Netherlands's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

For access to the Web Site of the Convention on Biological Diversity, click here:
For access to the Web Site of the CITES Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the CMS Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the Convention on the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, click here:
For the country-by-country, Man in the Biosphere On-Line Query System, click here:
Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP's International Register on Biosafety.
Click here for the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Biosafety WebPages

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DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

The International Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa was on 15 October 1994 and ratified on 27 June 1995 .

 

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This information is based on The Netherlands's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

For access to the Web Site of the Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought, click here:

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ENERGY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Economic Affairs has the lead in making energy policy in The Netherlands. Depending on the specific form of energy it also cooperates with other ministries, namely with the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment in relation to environmental issues, and with the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management in relation to the transport related issues.  Work is also carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports, the Ministry of Defence, and the Ministry of Finance (See Table below).

Ministerial primary responsibilities for energy conservation

Ministry of Economic Affairs

Industry, services and energy sectors

Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment

Public housing and government buildings

Ministry of Agriculture

Agriculture and the agri-business

Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management

Traffic and transport

Ministry of Education

Educational institutions

Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports

Hospitals and sports facilities

Ministry of Defence

Defence buildings and sites

Ministry of Finance

Energy tax

Source: Action Programme Energy Conservation, 1999-2000

In general, policy making is the result of interdepartmental cooperation at different levels of civil servants. The prepared document is a result of the negotiations between civil servants from different ministries. Civil society, industry and environmental non-governmental organisations are also consulted. The critical issues are then resolved at ministerial level. Finally, the document goes to Parliament for approval.

Decision-making in relation to energy is to a limited extent delegated to the provincial and local authorities; these generally only concern the location of, for example, wind farms. However, the decision on the Benchmarking Covenant was made in cooperation with the Inter-Provincial Consultative Forum (IPO).  Environmental permits issued by provincial and local governments include requirements for energy and resource use (Environmental Management Act).

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Government programmes concerning energy include voluntary agreements with industries to create efficiency standards, research and development on renewables, and demand-side management. Since 1992, an Energy tax has collected US$ 600 million. There are additional regulatory taxes on light bulbs and energy use.

The laws include the Gas Act, the Electricity Act, the Environmental Management Act, Act on Taxes with an Environmental Base and administrative orders under these acts.

There are a number of subsidies to promote energy conservation such as the energy programmes Subsidies Decree, the Subsidy Scheme for Communication, Quick Scan and Analysis for Cleaner Production, the Subsidy Scheme for Energy Efficiency and Environmental Counselling on Cleaner Production and the Environmental Impact Assessment. These schemes are mostly implemented by The Netherlands Agency for Energy & Environment (NOVEM) and Senter (Long-Term Agreements on Energy Efficiency: Progress in 1997: 11). For sectors that are energy extensive, rules, and taxes (e.g. the Regulatory Energy Tax and the Environmental Tax on Fuels) have been imposed.  In 2000, 25 billion NLG were raised from ‘Green Taxes’ which corresponds to 15% of the total taxes collected in the country.  Also, subsidies have been given to influence consumer choices.  From 1 January 2000, an energy subsidy is available for efficient new household apparatus and infrastructures in houses. 

New standards have been defined for new houses (Energy Performance Standards), and an voluntary energy advice has been introduced for existing buildings (Energy Performance Advice) (Climate Policy Implementation Plan).  The Environmental Management Act sets a framework for companies (Action Programme on Energy Conservation 1999-2002: 11). There is no tax on green energy and subsidies are available for producers of green energy.  Renewable energy is also promoted through instruments such as the VAMIL scheme for accelerated depreciation of environmental investments, the Green Investment Scheme, and the Energy Investment Relief Scheme (which entered into force in 1997).

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The government follows a strategy of (a) encouraging fuel switch to renewable energy, (b) energy conservation in industry and households, and c) clean use of fossil fuel.

To encourage renewable energy, the government:

Benchmarking Covenant was adopted in 1999 by the Ministries of Economic Affairs and Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, the Inter-Provincial Consultative Forum and various sectors in order to realise the best international energy-efficiency standards at the earliest opportunity and no later than 2012 in order to contribute to the Dutch CO2 target on improved energy efficiency. Further, there also is the Action Programme on Energy Conservation.  It is also relevant here to mention that the electricity market has been liberalised.

The goal for renewable energy is that 5% of the national energy will be met by renewable sources in 2010, and 10% in 2020. The goal for energy efficiency is 2% improvement annually till 2012.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

Major Groups have made contributions to meeting national energy goals. Greenpeace Netherlands has developed a prototype super energy efficient refrigerator and is looking into marketing options. WWF Netherlands cooperates with the 5 largest construction companies in the Netherlands on building "super energy efficient houses".

Policy for these groups is mainly focussed on awareness raising and public support.  The Dutch system does not close out the participation of any specific group in the policymaking process. NGOs, local authorities, business and industry, the scientific community and the trade unions have a greater influence on the process, with business and industry, with NGOs taking the lead. These groups, mainly business and industry, farmers, and local authorities have also an important role to play in the implementation of the policy.

The Dutch electricity market has started liberalising since 1 July 1999 and there is increasing private sector activity in the area of production, export and import. The National High Tension network remains however a monopoly. It is expected that there will be greater private sector participation in generation and distribution. The private sector role is specified in the amended Electricity Act and the amended Gas Act.

NGOs, such as Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, as well as consumer groups advertise actively energy conservation possibilities and green electricity and thereby attempt to influence consumer choices. Greenpeace has developed a prototype super energy efficient refrigerator. The World Wide Fund for Nature cooperates with the five largest construction companies to build super energy-efficient houses. Scientists write articles for newspapers/ media to influence the general public.

Programmes and Projects 

In general all households have access to energy (physical and financial). Special E Teams, supported by the Regulatory Energy Tax revenues and municipalities, provide energy conservation services to low-income households in the different municipalities.

The Netherlands’ government has developed an action plan to meet its Kyoto target (Climate Policy Implementation Plan) which includes:

Also, the CO2 Reduction Plan Project Bureau is a cooperative alliance between the Dutch executive organisations Novem and Senter. It functions as a coordination point for all aspects of the climate policy. The bureau supports the government in the preparation of subsidy schemes and goes on to implement such schemes in practice. It thus oversees large-scale investment projects which would not normally be conducted without additional support, the financial risk being too great.  In addition the government will also participate in all the international flexibility mechanisms.

The government also has four strategies which might promote sinks – the Nature Policy, the Key Planning Decisions on the Wadden Sea, a forest extension programme, and the use of wood in construction and aims to manage existing sinks to increase biomass.  The government has initiated in cooperation with relevant actors a number of schemes. The National Automobile Association (ANWB) and local authorities have started car sharing initiatives; The Netherlands Energy and Environment Company (NOVEM) carried out a study on reuse of breaking energy in vehicles.

In an agreement between the European Commission and the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), the latter undertakes to reduce CO2 emissions from cars by 25 % over the next ten years. Labels for new cars indicating their energy efficiency are compulsory since January 18th 2001 for all EU countries.  The Dutch label also provides information on comparative fuel use of different cars to influence further people’s choices.

The Action Programme on Energy Conservation 1999-2002 will achieve its goals through financial incentives, covenants with the individual sectors, technology development, energy efficiency standards, the Environment Management Act, the Regulatory Energy Tax and the Special E Teams. Under the Law on Energy Conservation of apparatus (WET), it is compulsory for refrigerators, dryers, washing machines, dishwashers and others appliances to have energy labelling to influence consumer choices.

Status   

The energy balance in The Netherlands is shown in the following table

Table 1. Energy balance and key statistical data (Mtoe)

 

2000

2005

Total Production

71

59.2

Coal

-

-

Oil

2.3

1.7

Gas

66.3

54.8

Comb. Renewables and Wastes

1.9

2.1

Nuclear

0.8

0.4

Hydro

0.0

0.0

Geothermal

-

-

Solar/wind/other

0.1

0.2

Total net imports

6.9

23.8

Coal

Exports

2.6

1.7

 

Imports

10.2

9.1

 

Net Imports

7.6

7.4

Oil

Exports

37.7

40.8

 

Imports

78.8

87.0

 

Bunkers

16.3

19.2

 

Net Imports

24.8

27.0

Gas

Exports

30.2

15.1

 

Imports

3.9

3.8

 

Net Imports

-26.3

-11.3

Electricity

Exports

-

-

 

Imports

0.9

0.7

 

Net Imports

0.9

0.7

Source: Energy Policy of IEA countries, 1998.

Access to electricity in the Netherlands is as follows:

The following table shows the changes in use of energy in The Netherlands for the period 1990-2000 and the anticipated changes for the period 2000 – 2010. It can be seen that the use of coal and gas remain relatively stable while the use of renewables, combined heat power (CHP) and electricity increase.

                         Table. Shares of total energy consumption per energy source

Shares (%)

1990

2000

2010

Coal

3.3

3.9

3.4

Oil

39.5

35.5

34.3

Gas

44.2

45.9

44.8

Comb. Renewables and wastes

0.3

0.6

1.0

Geothermal

-

-

-

Solar/wind/other

-

-

-

Electricity

12.2

12.4

14.4

Heat

0.5

1.7

2.1

                        Source: Energy Policy of IEA countries, 1998.

However, with liberalisation, there have been increasing imports of electricity, leading to less use of coal within The Netherlands and this has given a minor set back to the use of CHP in the last year. 

The liberalisation which began in 1999, may seriously affect the energy trends in the country. The liberalisation of the energy market may, if the trend in the UK, Sweden and Germany is reflected in The Netherlands, lead to falling electricity prices; which in turn may stimulate consumption of electricity and hence lead to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions (Public Interests and Market Regulation: Liberalisation and privatisation in network sectors, 1999). The Dutch CO2 emissions from energy production in 1999 decreased by 60% compared to the previous year because of imports of electricity (Milieucompendium 2000).

Challenges  

Most of the environmental issues in The Netherlands are under control. Among problematic issues are the greenhouse gas emissions from the transport and energy sector. Liberalisation of the latter may lead to changes in domestic emission levels.

The over-capacity in generation facilities reduces the incentives for developing new sources of energy. The Combined Heat Power Plants were developing with considerable rapidity, but received a minor set back with the liberalisation of the energy market and the availability of cheap electricity on the net.  Although there is some potential for solar energy, society sees this as an expensive alternative to the already existing sources of energy.  In addition, renewable energy production requires large areas which are not available in The Netherlands.  Finally, there has been an annual attempt at increasing the efficiency of end-users since the 1970s, and in particular since 1990, and this effort will continue. Many of the Dutch companies are among the most efficient producers in the world and the Benchmarking Covenant may provide these companies incentive to improve their efficiency further.

Lack of finances is not a major obstacle for the implementation of environment friendly energy policies and strategies.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

The government has contributed to increase public awareness, through, inter alia, advertisements on television and in newspapers, and has established education programmes for consumers since the first National Environmental Policy Plan.  During the second plan period, the dialogue between citizens and the government matured and many cities discussed environmental issues and sustainable development within the framework of the Local Agenda 21.  Because of the immense complexity in the relationships between consumption and production patterns and environmental issues, the government believes that it is vital to have social support for achieving far reaching changes in the economy.  That is why they engage actively in discussions with consumers.

Although there is a general goal to promote environmental awareness through a variety of channels, there is no national effort to include this in the curriculum of schools. However, schools may and often do decide to include awareness packages on the environment in their curriculum.  

There are several research programmes for innovative technology, curriculum building and knowledge exchange for sustainable development and environment. Examples are: Program Economy, Ecology and Technology; Program Environment & Technology; DTO/KOV Knowledge exchange and anchoring; and the knowledge programme ICES/KIS for sustainable economic development. These are however not solely focused on energy.

Programmes to influence consumers on energy and environment related issues tend to be limited to advertisements (newspapers, television and radio) and fiscal incentives. There is however, considerable discussion on these issues in the media and the government engages in a dialogue process with the consumers on these issues. The Local Agenda 21 programmes of the municipalities also promote awareness.

Information   

The Netherlands has detailed information about the generation and use of energy within the country. The emissions related to energy use (as well as emissions from other sources) are monitored in detail within the national Pollutant Emission Register. The emission data are updated every year and reported yearly in a joint publication of the relevant national institutes under responsibility of the Inspectorate for Environmental Protection.

The Government and the related affiliated institutes (RIVM, NOVEM, ECN, etc.) publish brochures and documents, and their web sites provide information to concerned industry and citizens. Public policies are also extensively debated in the national media. The Netherlands also shares its information at the international level, through developing web sites and publications in English (and sometimes in other EU languages) and actively distributes information through the journals Change, Joint Implementation Quarterly and Environmental News from The Netherlands.

Information is desseminated through different brochures, and web sites such as:

http://www.minvrom.nl/minvrom/pagina.html?id=1306

http://www.rivm.nl/milieucompendium/

Research and Technologies   

Hydro-power: Studies have been conducted to assess the technical-economic potential of constructing more hydropower plants.  Due to the low physical potential of electricity generation from hydropower in The Netherlands, the total production from this source is expected to increase by only15 MW.

Biomass: Research concerning the use of biomass is being conducted mainly at the KEMA, Dutch National Energy Research Centre (ECN), National Institute of Applied Scientific Research (TNO), Delft University of Technology and Twente University.  The target is for the contribution of waste and biomass in energy production to grow from 33 PJ in 1995 to 120 PJ in 2020.

Wind/solar energy: Wind energy has developed particularly quickly since 1995 resulting in about 750 turbines installed in 2000. The contribution of photovoltaic solar energy is currently small compared to other forms of renewable energy (mainly biomass and wind), but is expected to grow substantially in the period up 2020.

Nuclear energy: Some research in this area continues.

Others: The target for the contribution made by ambient heat to the energy supply is to grow from 2 PJ in 1995 to 65 PJ in 2020.  Efforts are being made to enhance the synergy between activities of various Dutch research institutes in this area.  In the field of aquifer energy storage, the potential is large.  A Dutch consultancy firm is involved in such projects both in Belgium and Norway.  Some programmes have also been designed to increase research in the field of geothermal energy (Renewable Energy Advancing Power: 1997-2000)

There is very limited potential for large hydro power installations in The Netherlands, since it is a low-lying country.  There is some potential for small hydro power installations. Potential for exploiting solar energy is limited by the present costs.  Concerning wind energy, there is a problem of finding possible sites.

The Government is exploring the possibility of building wind parks in the sea; wind energy on land is currently being developed. Nuclear energy is excluded by the post-election coalition agreement made by the current Dutch Government and, given the strong public feeling on  the subject, it appears unlikely that this will be further developed.  There is potential for biomass, but The Netherlands is a small country and the potential is limited by the size of the country.  However, biomass can be imported from other countries.

The government encourages the use of environmentally-sound technologies through subsidies.  These include subsidies on the use of waste warmth that comes out of industrial processes, water pumps, water pumps in combination with combined heat power, advanced heat power, small gas turbines, fuel cells, reuse of CO2 from combined heat power plants, generation of electricity from waste energy (through e.g. organic rankine), renewable energy, wind energy, solar photovoltaic cells, geothermal hydro power in the order 1/15 MW, biomass, improved process technologies and energy-intensive companies, use of drying, baking, smelting, membrane technologies in industrial processes, etc. (CO2 Reduction Plan Netherlands, 1997).

The European Commission has made an agreement with the auto manufacturers to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases, and as a member of the European Union, The Netherlands will benefit from that.  NOVEM is conducting research into three different alternatives to replace conventional fuels for transport. These are ethanol-based fuels (cellulosic ethanol SSF and cellulosic ethanol CBP), diesel fuels (biomass FT diesel and biomass DME) and hydrogene fuels (biomass SNG, electrolytic hydrogen and natural gas H2 + CO2 seq.). There are also experiments with tolls on cars during the early morning rush hour and attempts to improve the public transport system.

Financing   

Energy projects and programmes are mostly financed from private sources.  Prices paid by the consumers cover the cost of production and a certain profit margin.  Between the 1970s and the 1990s, environmental expenditures from industries and refineries increased from 3,3% to 5,3% of their total expenditures (Milieucompendium, 2000).  Public resources are spent for specific projects related to energy conservation, renewable energy and climate change (See Table below). 

This is in addition to the resources spent by institutions like ECU and NOVEM.  Since 1997, 73 million is earmarked annually for the renewable energy programmes undertaken by NOVEM, and 10 million is reserved for the Economy-Ecology-Technology programme (EET) and  11.5 million for work done by ECN and TNO, energy research institutes in The Netherlands.  Some funding is received from various EU programmes for research and development. The EU Joule-Thermie programme provided 21.85 million NLG to Dutch enterprises and institutes in 1995-96 (Renewable Energy Advancing Power: 1997-2000).   

Table. Overview of Financial Incentives for reducing greenhouse gas emissions

            

 

Industry

Energy

Agriculture

Traffic and Transport

Trade,

Services

and Government

House-holds

Other Greenhouse gases

Total

Energy Investement Tax credit (EIA)

investments in 1999 (mln DFL)

401

452 (EIA

21 (EIN)

94

48

276

x

x

1279 (EIA)

229 (EINP)

VAMIL (free depreciation of environmental investments)

investments in 1999 (mln DFL)

 

 

 

 

 

x

x

619

Green Mutual Funds

Project capital in 1999 (mln DFL)

0

184

265

0

15

348

x

811

Energy Subsidies

subsidies (mln DFL)

x

X

x

x

x

0

x

0

CO2 Reduction Plan

Investments for projects until 2011 (mln DFL)

248

2326

3

236

535

0

x

3348

Committed subsidies until 2011 (mln DFL)

52

331

1

60

59

0

x

503

Expected CO2 reductions in Mtons

0.5

1.4

0.03

0.9

0.5

0

x

3

Special arrangements for renewable energy under the Regulatory Energy Tax

total amount in 1999 (mln DFL)

x

47

x

x

x

x

x

47

Incentive for Energy Conserva-tion

budget spent in 1999 (mln HFL)

55

3

5

9

 

42

x

114

Incentive for Renewable Energy

budget spent in 1999 (mln HFL)

 

50

 

 

 

6

x

56

Other Green-house gas Reduction Plan

budget spent in 1999 (mln HFL)

x

X

x

x

x

x

0.4

0.4

Source: Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal, Verantwoording Klimaatbeleid (October 3rd 2000), no. 27 442.

To promote renewable energy projects, a series of fiscal instruments have been set up.  These are the Regulatory Energy Tax, the VAMIL, the Green Investment Scheme, and the Energy Investment Relief Scheme (Renewable Energy Advancing Power: 1997-2000).  Although the revenue from Green Taxes is not earmarked for environmental policy, it is allocated to the general budget which finances environmental policy as well as other policy fields.

Cooperation

There are a number of bilateral and multilateral programmes of co-operation with developing countries and East and Central European countries in relation to research on and transfer of energy technology.  The bilateral programmes which in the past encompassed a large number of developing countries and target energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies are now limited to a smaller number of countries in the context of the preferential development relationship with those countries. At the multilateral level the Netherlands is a first-hour and one of the key-financiers of World Bank programmes such as ESMAP, RPTES and ASTAE. With UNDP, several energy-related activities have been supported in the past years. With the FAO, the Netherlands has a long-term programme called RWEDP to promote changes at policy level in Asian countries related to biomass energy.  The Netherlands also contributes to the Global Environment Facility to help fund activities in relation to climate change, and other issues.

Further Dutch efforts leading to transfer of energy technology are concentrated via Joint Implementation and Clean Development Mechanism. The Netherlands has reserved 200 million NLG for 2001, and 300 million NLG for 2002 to purchase CO2 reduction credits through investments in energy and environmental technologies in other countries. Until 2012, The Netherlands plans to purchase a total of 125 Mt of CO2.  This corresponds to 50% of the total reductions to be achieved by The Netherlands.  The amount of money that will be allocated to the purchase of reduction permits after 2003 depends on the outcome of the Sixth Conference of Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The Netherlands is engaged in a number of agreements, formal and informal in relation to energy cooperation. Most of these are on joint research within the framework of the International Energy Agency. It is also a party to the Energy Charter Agreement. 

In addition, The Netherlands is party to the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution of 1979 and ratified the Convention in 1982.  In 1984, the Parties to the Convention adopted the 1984 Geneva Protocol on Long-Term Financing of the Co-operative Programme for Monitoring and Evaluation of Long-Range Transmission of Air Pollutants in Europe (EMEP).   The Netherlands is also party to the First Sulphur Protocol (1985), the NOx Protocol (1998), the Volatile Organic Components Protocol (1991) and the Second Sulphur Protocol (1994).  In December 2000, a new treaty was signed on Persistent Organic Pollutants.

* * *

This information is based on The Netherlands's submission to the 5th and 9th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: May 2001.

Measuring Env Progress: Energy.

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FORESTS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries, especially the Department of Nature Conservation, Forestry, Landscape Planning and Wildlife Management is in charge of forestry issues. The following are also involved: Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Government fully supports the forest principles adopted by UNCED and has agreed to the International Tropical Timber Agreement. The Dutch government cooperates with timber producing countries in the implementation of norms and criteria of sustainable forest management and the initiation of a system for certification of sustainably produced timber. The Stortebeker Committee drew up a report on the development of a certification system for sustainably produced timber. The ITTO guidelines were tested in a 500 ha State forest. A second test is envisaged. Regulations on only importing sustainably produced timber are pending. Some users have already stopped using non-sustainably produced hardwood.

A revision of the Forest Act of 1920 is under discussion. The Forestry Act has been a major instrument in preventing the conversion of forests for other uses. In many cases, if the use of the land is changed, the same area of forest or more has to be planted elsewhere. However, recent figures show that around 200 ha of forest disappear every year without being replaced. The Act is an important instrument in maintaining the total forest, but says nothing about the quality of forests. Supplementary protection of important forest areas is provided for in the Town and Country Planning Act and the Nature Conservancy Act.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

In 1994, the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries adopted the Forest Policy Plan. Main targets are the enhancement of natural values and biodiversity in the existing forests and the increase of the forest area. The Plan is supported by the Nature Policy Plan. In addition, the Natural Environmental Policy Plan provides for measures to reduce harmful emissions. The Third Policy Document on Water Management provides for measures to prevent further parching of forests and nature conservation areas.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

The private sector and NGOs are fully involved in decision-making at the national planning level. Labour unions, local communities and user groups are advisory participants and rural cooperatives are adhoc participants. The various associations of forest owners play an important role in providing information on forest matters.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available

Status 

The forest area has increased continously during the last decades from 260,000 ha in 1952/53 to 334,000 ha in 1980/83, when the latest forest inventory was carried out. A new inventory is under discussion. Many of the new forests were planted on marginal agricultural ground and in the newly created polders. The annual increment in the total area of forest is estimated at around 2.5 million m3., approx. 1.3 million m3 of wood is harvested every year. The gradual expansion of the forest area contributes substantially to the sustainable maintenance of forests in the Netherlands. With the annual harvest significantly less than the increment, a modest but significant reduction of CO2 is being achieved. The volume of carbon currently stored in Dutch forests amounts to 63.7 Mt, 58% of which is stored in soil-stable humus. The present gross annual carbon accumulation is equivalent to about 1% of the Dutch carbon emission.

More emphasis is now placed in forestry policy on promoting processing and boosting demand, e.g. by increasing the scope for sales of timber for energy generation purposes. Some other important developments in the timber market are the move towards life-cycle management, the certification of sustainably produced timber and the recycling of paper. Most forests are managed on the basis of more or less detailed management plans. Hunting does not take place on a very large scale and is increasingly restricted. There is no overexploitation of forests as a result of productive functions.

The health of forest ecosystems in the Netherlands is threatened, inter alia, by relatively high levels of nitrogen deposits. The actual levels measured in forests are between 30 and 60 kg of nitrogen per hectare per year. For damp and wet forest ecosystems, parching is another danger. Water extraction and improved drainage have resulted in a permanent drop in the groundwater level from 25 to 50 cm. If inputs of acidifying and, above all, eutrophic compounds continue at present levels, the sustainable maintenance of forest ecosystems on soil that is sensitive to acidification cannot be guaranteed.

Encroaching urbanization is rated "moderate" for causing forest loss and damage. Air pollution and acidification are rated "light". Actions have been initiated to promote tree-breeding, in-vitro-techniques and in situ conservation.

There are several categories of protected forests in the Netherlands: strict forest reserves, "A" locations, national parks and forests with emphasis on nature conservation. Around 90% of the total area of forests is part of the network of protected areas. Recent surveys show that the number of endangered species in forests is very small compared to other biotops. The biodiversity of Dutch forests is likely to continue to increase as a result of a vigorous forestry policy.

Challenges

The major obstacle to effective afforestation is the inclusion of forest areas in the spatial planning at state, provincial and community levels, which can cause long delays. The increase in forest area and improved management should result in an increase in homegrown wood supply from 8% to 25%.

On the economic side, timber production accounts for only a small proportion of GNP. The Netherlands supplies only about 10% of its own timber needs. There are no good surveys for the macro-economic significance of forests.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

Information campaigns aimed at private forest owners have stimulated the practice of thinning out as a form of harvesting in recent years.

Information 

No information is available

Research and Technologies 

Forest expertise is maintained thanks to the existence of several university courses. 25 to 50 foresters graduate every year. Specialised forestry research is conducted at the Institute for Forestry and Nature Research. An Information and Knowledge Centre was set up in 1991 to provide factual policy support and information for private forest owners.

Financing

The annual budget of the forest sector is appr. US$ 80 million. Budgets for afforestation and protection of forests against the effects of air pollution have increased over the last decade. Within the budget of the Ministry of International Cooperation an annual amount of US$ 53 million has been earmarked for cooperation on forestry. Due to efficiency operations, staffing has been reduced over the last decade and no new staff has been recruited. The Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries had 2,100 staff members in 1980 and 950 in 1990, but staffing situation is rated "adequate" at all levels.

Cooperation

No information is available

* * *

This information is based on The Netherlands's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: 1 April 1997.

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FRESHWATER

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Most parts of the system of standards will remain at present unchanged. This includes the statutory norms (largely based on EC directives) for the quality of surface water to which specific functions have been assigned (preparation of drinking water, bathing water, fishing, shellfish cultivation), for discharges of black-listed substances, and for discharges of oxygen-absorbent substances and phosphates and nitrogen compounds in urban waste water. Nor will there be any change in the operation of the non-statutory standards given in the CIW/CUWVO guidelines for emissions from various types of companies. The phrase "at present" is important here, since the EU is currently working on a new structure of water-related regulations, the result of which for national policies is only likely to emerge in around two years' time.

That system of non-statutory Dutch standards relating to the quality of surface water will, however, be subject to some modification. In future, water quality policies will be based on two fixed measures where micropollutants are concerned: the basic quality standard and the target value. In the case of nutrients, the only defined measure will be a basic quality standard. Throughout the country, there must be a degree of freedom to set local priorities for the achievement of these objectives. In this respect, however, account will need to be taken both of national and international agreements on emission reductions and of the requirements of water systems further downstream (i.e. no transfer of problems).

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Third National Policy Document on Water Management (NW3) set out a new strategy under the name of integrated water management. This was based on the view that the aims of water management could only be achieved via an integrated approach. Integrated water management has been a success and the Fourth National Policy Document on Water Management (NW4) wholeheartedly pursues the same approach. The process of public consultation revealed the need both for more vigorous implementation and for a broader and deeper integrated water management approach.

The main features of the national framework for area-specific water system policies are dictated by:

The water management policies can only succeed if they are pursued in cooperation with those directly involved and therefore through measures in their direct vicinity. This means that local and regional problems must be addressed wherever possible at that level. Accordingly, national objectives and standards must provide scope for area-specific policies at local and regional level. This requires a new approach and the modification of norms and targets set in the Water Evaluation policy document.

The Third National Policy Document on Water Management introduced the concept of integrated water management. To put this concept into practice, it was thought necessary to create water control boards able to apply a fully integrated approach to managing the quantity and quality of water. The creation of such all-in water control bodies required mergers between existing boards and this has considerably reduced the number of water control boards. The basic principles of NW3 still apply. The modifications proposed here are a question of "fine-tuning": shifting the emphasis from a debate on structure to the optimization of implementation. This may mean that some operational duties relating to the management of ground water and waterways have to be delegated from the provinces to the water control boards.

A further aspect of the sustainable management of fresh water management is the availability of drinking water. In May 1993, the Government published the Drinking and Industrial Water Policy Plan containing proposals for safeguarding water supply and the conditions under which this is to occur. The policy aims to ensure public water supply in a sustainable way and to protect ground and surface water as a natural resource.

The Third National Environmental Policy Plan (NEPP3) gives details of the national system of environmental standards for substances. The main features of this system and the approach to standards also apply to water management policy.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects 

The Dutch Aquatic Outlook project has demonstrated that a number of NW3 objectives cannot be achieved within the time-limits set for them in the policy document unless policies are modified. In recent years the threat of flooding along the various branches of the Rhine and the actual floods in the Maas basin have made it clear that measures to prevent the repetition of these events will involve more than simply raising the dikes. A strategy directed at a sustainable solution demands measures relating to the wider situation, and not just to the dikes or the river system itself. For this reason, NW4 advocates improved coordination between policies on water management, physical planning and the environment. It argues that the coordinated policies should take account of all the various interests involved, including flood protection, agriculture, ecology, public water supplies, transport, recreation and the fishing industry. At the same time, they should provide scope for tailor-made local solutions, leading to a combination of an integrated generic approach aimed at achieving common countrywide targets and a specific regional elaboration of policies which takes account of local circumstances and opportunities.

Status 

The Netherlands now has one of the highest levels of sewerage and water treatment in the world. The waste water of more than 95% of the Dutch population is now purified through biological oxidation before being discharged. Almost all industrial waste water is also purified either by physical and chemical means or biologically -- or by a combination of the two methods. The Netherlands has taken effective steps to reduce discharge of polluting substances.

Water consumption continues to rise in the Netherlands, both in households and in industry. The Government is taking steps to curb this increase by encouraging people to save water. In households, the Government promote the use of water-saving toilets and washing machines. In industry, the emphasis is on water used for cooling and other processes. Policy measures to combat water depletion have been stepped up in recent years. A target has been set to reduce the areas affected by water depletion by 25% in 2000 compared to 1985, but this may prove to be too ambitious. In addition to legislation and regulations, the system of water charges is a significant policy instrument to encourage water-saving measures.

High river discharges may cause flooding and inundation of densely populated areas in The Netherlands. Implementing the safety standards (a statistical risk of inundation of areas near rivers of 1 per 1250 years) against flooding results in accelerating the existing program on dike reinforcement (i.e. the appropriate safety-level must be achieved before the year 2000).  Furthermore, a new approach is being developed in order to ensure a sustainable protection against flooding by reshaping the major river basins by, inter alia, deepening and widening the major river beds, in combination with nature-restoration measures.

Water is of great economic significance to the Netherlands: it is a means of transport, a production factor in agriculture and industry, the raw material of public water supplies, a cooling agent and an intrinsic feature in the landscape, ecology, culture and history of the country. Investing in effective water management (protection and exploitation) will lay the basis for the development of a high-quality industrialized society. The replacement value of the investments protected by the flood defences is estimated at over 4,000 billion guilders. Constant consideration and care of the country's water systems is an absolute precondition for the development and preservation of the Netherlands.

An important principle for future water management is to base measures on natural processes and to restore the resilience of water systems. This can be achieved by encouraging water conservation and buffering to make areas more self-sufficient. This will have the additional advantage of alleviating current water depletion problems and contamination by non-indigenous water. This approach can also help to expand wetland areas and prevent flooding. It will help to ensure that problems are resolved within catchment areas rather than transferred to adjacent areas.

In terms of reducing pollution, much has already been achieved, but work has to continue. Use functions are still being restricted and necessary modifications of the hydrological system complicated by continuing diffuse pollution and the legacy of past pollution in the form of contaminated aquatic soils. Water managers will not be able to relax their attention with regard to pollution; on the contrary, they must tackle these problems with renewed vigour.

In addition to reducing emissions, measures are also being implemented to improve the environmental quality of surface water. Many of these measures aim to stimulate natural processes, such as improving the morphology of rivers to safeguard the habitats of migratory fish. This integrated approach to water management takes account of the many different functions attributed to the water systems in the Netherlands.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing 

The policies set out in NW4 are expected to produce a further improvement in the functioning of water systems. The government proposes to make an extra NLG 3 billion available in the period up to the end of 2015 to protect the country against flooding. This sum is intended -- in this order of priority -- to restore the revetments of the dikes around the coast and the IJsselmeer, to ensure the safety of areas protected by river dikes and to protect against flooding in the undiked sections of the Maas (Grensmaas and Zandmaas). This financial injection will be sufficient to fund most of the new approach to flood prevention along the major rivers -- an approach which will not only provide lasting protection for the areas themselves, but will also have a positive impact on the ecological and recreational value of the river flood plains.

Cooperation

The Netherlands also works internationally to promote sustainable water use. In 1994, the Netherlands organized an international conference on drinking water and environmental sanitation in Noordwijk.

Integrated water management is a central principle in Dutch development projects. For urban areas, the emphasis is on the quality and quantity of the drinking water. Since the extraction and consumption of drinking water is very closely linked to the use of water in agriculture and industry, sustainable water management plays a significant role in urban infrastructural projects.

States sharing the catchment areas of transborder river systems have a shared responsibility for the quality and functioning of those systems and for organizing and supervising their use. This includes responsibility for flood protection and for the seas into which the rivers discharge. This responsibility should be expressed at the most appropriate level of scale, within the framework established by international covenants, rules and agreements reached at a higher level or in a broader context. Public accountability is an important aspect of this responsibility. There is a need for rationalization of international consultations and improved coordination between the forums in which it takes place, in order to increase consistency and prevent duplication of effort.

The basic terms of international water management policies should be established in general forums such as the EU and the UN. But the identification and, where possible, resolution of problems should take place at the level of regional seas or river basins and parts of them, with action programmes serving as frameworks for integration. Particular problems can be tackled at EU or UN level where desirable. There should be effective feedback mechanisms for this, as well as between the various area-specific organizations. There also needs to be regular bilateral cooperation (between neighbouring countries and other strategically important partners) and national cooperation (between lower tiers of government and interest groups). The international forums should themselves maintain an open attitude towards the outside world. Dutch water management expertise should be systematically deployed in other countries, with a particular focus on the sustainable development of water systems.

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This information is based on The Netherlands' submissions to the 5th and 6th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: April 1998.

At the sixth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, the Netherlands gave a national presentation on freshwater management. This presentation was based on the: Fourth National Policy Document on Water Management: Summary of Government Proposals, which may be accessed by clicking here.

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LAND MANAGEMENT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Three ministries are primarily responsible for activities under this chapter: the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries and the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Policies and policy instruments are in place to address the integrated approach to the planning and management of land resources, but monitoring and evaluation are not yet optimal. The issues "strengthening information systems," "scientific understanding of land-resources systems" and "pilot projects" have been addressed in part. The following policy documents are relevant: the Fourth Policy Document on Physical Planning (1991), the Nature Policy Plan (1990/91), the Structure Plan for the Rural Areas in the Netherlands (1993/94) and the Structure Plan for Surface Mining (1996).

As a result of several high discharges and important risks of flooding in the major rivers in the period 1993 - 1995, the Netherlands' Government decided to give higher priority to water discharge and protection against flooding. As a direct consequence larger areas will be reserved for water discharge purposes instead of other uses.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

Public participation has been promoted but is not always possible in the preparation of plans.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

The Dutch government is actively involved in supporting sustainable land use activities in developing countries by implementing projects and supporting divisions in appropriate ministries. It also participates in programmes of FAO and the World Bank. Other international activity includes joint cooperation programmes with institutions in neighbouring countries, e.g. in Belgium and Germany.

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This information is based on The Netherlands's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.

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MOUNTAINS

No information available.

 

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OCEANS AND COASTAL AREAS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Netherlands has an integrated coastal area management programme and is in the process of establishing an EEZ.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

National policy on oceans is part of the National Sustainable Development Strategy. The Ministry for Transport, Public Works and Water Management is responsible for integrated planning. Activities are being coordinated with other competent ministries, government bodies and NGOs.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

The private sector and small-scale artisanal fishermen have advisory status at the national level. At the local level, Major Groups are ad-hoc participants in decision-making.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status 

Some economic incentives have been introduced: a charge for pollution of surface waters, financial compensation for inclination of the soil by natural gas extraction, a Green Award system where clean ships pay lower harbour taxes. All activities under this programme area are rated "very important". Protection of the marine environment has been fully integrated into policies. In 1993, the Coastal Management Centre of the Netherlands was set up to assist coastal nations in making and implementing integrated coastal zone management programmes. Some gaps exist concerning surveillance and monitoring of fisheries at sea. Regarding pollution of the marine environment from land-based sources, specialised information is available in government institutes, and based on this information, Best Available Techniques are elaborated and discussed. All sewage related issues are rated "very important" and have been fully covered.

Challenges

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

The Netherlands develops capacity-building and training programmes.

 Information 

The Netherlands participates in the development of socio-economic and environmental indicators, systematic observation systems, the mussel watch programme, clearing-houses and in the Global Ocean Observing System as well as in EuroGOOS, the European component of GOOS. In 1996 The Netherlands has organized the First International Conference on EuroGOOS. The objectives were to identify the next steps in the provision of European operational oceanographic services to indudtry, to government agencies and to value added service companies, and to promote GOOS

There are several database systems for integrated coastal management:

- DONAR (data management system concerning water information),

- MANS (Management System North Sea),

- NETCOAST (an open-access facility on Internet, aimed at anyone involved in coastal zone issues and management),

- COSMO (Coastal Zone Simulation Model).

These systems are rated "very good" and cover all necessary information.

Since 1995, an international Quality Status Report of the North Sea has been established every 2 to 5 years, including a comprehensive assessment of the State of the Environment. In the year 2000 a QSR of the OSPAR Convention area will be established. Changes in the coastal and marine environment can be determined.

Research and Technologies 

No information is available

Financing 

Under the programme area "sustainable development of small islands," a total financial assistance of US$190,456 was given to Jamaica, Haiti, Cape Verde, Madagascar and the Seychelles on a bilateral basis. Through multilateral assistance US$1.45 million have been provided to Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Barbados, especially for education projects.

Cooperation

The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea was signed in 1982 and ratified in 1996.

The Netherlands has ratified the OSPAR Convention that includes precautionary measures for marine and coastal activities, e.g. environmental impact assessments.

At the international level, the Netherlands is a member of the Trilateral Waddenzee Cooperation, the International Conference on the Protection of the North Sea, the OSPAR Commission, the Rhine Commission, the Bonner Agreement, Port State Control, the London Convention 1972, IMO, the Oil Prepared Response Cooperation, and EU activities. No problems have arisen in implementing international conventions. In 1997, an Intermediate North Sea Ministers Conference will be held to discuss concerns related to fish stocks in the North Sea. Voluntary implementation of the FAO Code of Conduct of Responsible Fishing will take place under the responsibility of the EU in cooperation with the parties concerned.

Within the IPCC working group on coastal zones, the Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Centre of the Netherlands initiated the "Common Vulnerability Assessment" and assisted 8 countries in assessing their vulnerability to climate change. At the World Coast Conference 1993, organized by The Netherlands as a response to the call for Intergrated Coastal Zone Management in Agenda 21, participants from 100 coastal nations, 20 international organizations and 23 non-governmental organizations in consensus agreed on strengthening national and international responses for building ICZM capabilities. For the Conference, 46 country and regional assessment case studies were collected. The CZM Centre constitutes the follow-up of the conference.

The development of a Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Information and Training Centre (REMPEITC) in Curaçao is being supported in cooperation with IMO and the US Coast Guard.

* * *

This information is based on The Netherlands's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.

To access the Web Site of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, click here:

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TOXIC CHEMICALS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The most important regulations regarding toxic chemicals are the Chemical Substances Act and the Pesticides Act.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Second National Environmental Policy Plan restates the long-term objective for all substances, namely that the maximum permissible risk level for the public and for the environment must no longer be exceeded by the year 2000. Attention is focused on reducing emissions of dioxins, agricultural pesticides, fluorides and organohalogens and of radon in domestic households and other buildings.

Dutch chemical substances policy also focuses on the OECD Chemicals Programme.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status 

Special attention is being given to soil protection and the second programme for soil protection and remediation 1995-1998 is being implemented. Long-term targets by the year 2010 are to quantify the total extent of soil contamination, to clean up environmentally urgent cases of severe soil contamination and at least to make safe other severly contaminated sites.

The Netherlands is particularly active in the European Union. In 1993, the EC adopted Regulation 793/93 under which the risk associated with certain substances must be evaluated and restricted. The Netherlands made a significant contribution to the development of the method contained in this Regulation, under which the chemical industry is now obliged to provide the EC with information on chemicals. This information will be used to draw up a priority list for evaluating the risk level of different chemicals. In 1994, the Netherlands conducted risk evaluations of 7 substances from this list. It also made a contribution to the development of an EC notification system for new substances. Risk evaluation is compulsory for all new substances.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available

 Information 

The Netherlands devotes attention to the provision of information at the international level, including preparing handbooks and distributing leaflets.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing 

No information is available

Cooperation

The Netherlands plays an active role in the Task Force set up within the UNEP for the preparation of a convention that is more binding than the London Guidelines.

 

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This information is based on The Netherlands's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

Measuring Environmental Progress: Toxic and hazardous pollutants.

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WASTE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

Solid Waste and Sewage

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Government policy on waste is based on the principle of integrated life-cycle management. Raw materials and products have to be processed in a sustainable way, waste has to be avoided as far as possible and the effects of waste on the environment have to be minimised. Although the amount of waste produced in the Netherlands is decreasing, it will be very difficult to achieve targets set for the year 2000 due to the problems associated with the recycling and reuse of waste.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

Waste prevention and recycling plans include the Action Programme for Segregation of Dry Waste, the Ten-Year-Waste Programme, and the Multi-year Plan for the Disposal of Hazardous Substances.

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available 

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing 

Large-scale investments in sewage treatment in The Netherlands have led to a substantial reduction from 40.0 million to 7.7 million pollution equivalents from 1969 to 1990. Annual costs of operating sewerage systems and treatment of waste water amount to some US$ 1600 million in 1997.

Cooperation

Internationally, the Netherlands tries to ensure that integrated life-cycle management is adopted as the main principle of waste policy in relation to developing countries. The Netherlands actively takes part in in drawing up EU directives in the field of waste management.

 

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Hazardous Waste

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Many of the measures described under the solid waste heading are also relevant for the control and reducation of hazardous waste.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies  

No information is available.

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was signed in 1989 and ratified on April 16, 1993.

 

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Radioactive Waste

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

The Netherlands government abides by the decision taken at the 1990 North Sea Ministers' Conference, that the North Sea is not suitable for dumping radioactive waste or for the storage of such waste on the sea bed. The Netherlands is in agreement with the decisions made pursuant to the London Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (1972) concerning a worldwide dumping ban, and will not dump radioactive material anywhere The Netherlands also follows the OSPAR Ministers' Conference on banning the dumping of radioactive waste in the Atlantic Ocean. With respect to the deep underground storage of radioactive waste, the Netherlands government has decided that it will not store nuclear waste anywhere where it is not possible to retrieve it.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

* * *

This information is based on The Netherlands's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.

For direct link to the Web Site of the Basel Convention, click here:
Measuring Env Progress: Toxic and hazardous pollutants.


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