AERU AGRICULTURE & ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH UNIT
 

2018-2020: Providing support in relation to the identification of approaches and measures in action programmes under Nitrates Directive (91/676/EEC) (Ref. ENV.D.1/SER/2018/0017)

The management of nutrients in agricultural production is a critical process that can affect the economic viability of agricultural enterprises and their environmental impact in terms of emissions to water and air. In particular, the use of nitrogen fertilisers can result in losses of nitrate to surface and groundwater and emissions of ammonia, nitrogen oxides and nitrous oxide to the atmosphere. The issue of nutrient pollution from agriculture has been ongoing challenge. Many of the processes are well understood, but their application in the context of commercial production is often one of trying to strike a balance between competing objectives.

In the European Union, numerous policies have been developed and implemented that aim to tackle nutrient pollution from agriculture, including Council Directive 91/676/EEC (the Nitrates Directive). Article 5 of this Directive requires Member States to develop action programme measures to reduce nutrient pollution. These measures can vary from one Member State or region to another, with scope for differences in efficacy and efficiency across the European Union depending on the measures implemented and the circumstances in which they are applied (e.g. climate, soil type, land use, etc.).

The aim of this project was to compile, compare and synthesise information regarding the action programme measures implemented under the Nitrates Directive in each of the 28 Member States (and at regional levels where applicable). For each Member State, it created an electronic inventory of the measures implemented under the Directive and identified and characterised: (i) the main differences in approaches and measures; (ii) existing best practices; (iii) potential transboundary impacts; and (iv) interactions with Directive 2016/2284 (the National Emission Ceilings Directive). This resulted in a better understanding of how the Nitrates Directive has been implemented across the European Union and helped identify practices which have the greatest positive impact.

Publications

  • Tzilivakis, J., Green, A., Warner, D.J and Lewis, K.A. (2020). Identification of approaches and measures in action programmes under Directive 91/676/EEC. Final report. Report prepared for Directorate-General Environment, European Commission, for project ENV.D.1/SER/2018/0017 by the Agriculture and Environment Research Unit (AERU), University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom.
  • Tzilivakis, J., Green, A., Warner, D.J and Lewis, K.A. (2020). Identification of approaches and measures in action programmes under Directive 91/676/EEC. Final report: Annex A: Comparison of implementation and environmental characterisation of NAP measures. Report prepared for Directorate-General Environment, European Commission, for project ENV.D.1/SER/2018/0017 by the Agriculture and Environment Research Unit (AERU), University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom.
  • Tzilivakis, J., Green, A., Warner, D.J and Lewis, K.A. (2020). Identification of approaches and measures in action programmes under Directive 91/676/EEC. Final report: Annex B: Nitrate Action Programme characterisation scoring and aggregation methods. Report prepared for Directorate-General Environment, European Commission, for project ENV.D.1/SER/2018/0017 by the Agriculture and Environment Research Unit (AERU), University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom.
  • Tzilivakis, J., Green, A., Warner, D.J and Lewis, K.A. (2020). Identification of approaches and measures in action programmes under Directive 91/676/EEC. Final report: Annexes C1-28: Austria to United Kingdom. Report prepared for Directorate-General Environment, European Commission, for project ENV.D.1/SER/2018/0017 by the Agriculture and Environment Research Unit (AERU), University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom.
  • Tzilivakis, J., Green, A., Warner, D.J and Lewis, K.A. (2020). Identification of approaches and measures in action programmes under Directive 91/676/EEC. Final report: Annex D: Risk characterisation of all Nitrate Action Programmes. Report prepared for Directorate-General Environment, European Commission, for project ENV.D.1/SER/2018/0017 by the Agriculture and Environment Research Unit (AERU), University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom.

Contact

Dr. John Tzilivakis

Links

University of Hertfordshire
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University of Hertfordshire, 2020.