Developing local scenarios to nitrogen management using participatory planning: A practical perspective

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportKonferenceabstrakt i proceedingsForskning


Since the 1990’ties it has been a central goal in Danish environmental policy to decrease nitrogen losses to the environment. Mitigation strategies have relied almost exclusively on a national top-down regulation, which outlines detailed requirements for farming practices. This approach has been very effective in reducing nitrogen losses to surface and ground water, as well as reducing ammonia emissions. While regulation in the 1990’ties was based on implementing good farming practices which increases nutrient utilization, additional regulation implemented after the turn of the century have incurred significant financial burdens on farmers, as well as restricting their freedom of operation on their farms. Over the last years, there has been a shift towards a targeted regulation that takes local conditions into account, in order to increase the cost effectiveness of mitigation strategies and to increase productivity where this is possible.

In this project, a participatory planning approach was tested in six local catchments in Denmark. In each catchment two workshops were held with broad representation of local stakeholders from local councils, municipal authorities, farmer councils and local farmers, anglers and local nature conservation societies. The aim of the first workshop was to collect suggestions for possible future scenarios for each catchment. Before the second workshop, suggestions and scenarios were consolidated into three thematic scenarios, which were visualized in a GIS based landscape scale decision support tool, and these three scenarios were discussed among stakeholders in the second workshop.
From an agricultural perspective the results of this process highlights that the stakes are very different between differing stakeholders in a local community. Since nitrogen cycling in rural catchment is dominated by farmland, farmers always play a central role in solution scenarios, both when scenarios concentrate on increasing agricultural production and when scenarios calls for reducing nitrogen losses from farming. In all cases, the farmer has much more at stake, than other stakeholders, since the scenarios directly affect farming economy. How this affect the local process is different in different catchments, because the farming community and the cooperation between stakeholders, is very different between the different catchments. Nonetheless, this disparity in stakes needs to be taken into account when involving a community in participatory planning regarding nitrogen management.

As part of a more targeted Danish regulation, a system of catchment officers is currently being established to aide in formulating mitigation strategies that are adapted to local needs and local landscapes. These catchment officers need to be acutely aware of the disparity in stakes between stakeholders in local communities.
TitelInnovative solutions for sustainable management of nitrogen : Conference proceedings
Antal sider1
ForlagAarhus University
ISBN (Trykt)978-87-93398-82-5
StatusUdgivet - 2017
BegivenhedInnovative solutions for sustainable management of nitrogen - Aarhus University, Aarhus, Danmark
Varighed: 26 jun. 201728 jun. 2017


KonferenceInnovative solutions for sustainable management of nitrogen
LokationAarhus University

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