Science at the core of policy and practice: AERIUS, the calculation tool of the Dutch Integrated Approach to Nitrogen

Mark Wimot1, Mireille de Heer2, Addo van Pul3

1National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, RIVM, P.O. Box 1, Bilthoven, 3720 BA, www.rivm.nl, [email protected]

2 De Heer & Co., Maarten Schrijverlaan 47, Utrecht, 3526 XW

3 National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, RIVM, P.O. Box 1, Bilthoven, 3720 BA

Abstract

In northwest Europe deposition of atmospheric nitrogen is one of the main problems to maintain or restore natural habitats into a favourable conservation status. The Integrated Approach to Nitrogen (PAS) of The Netherlands is a national plan combining generic source measures to reduce nitrogen emission levels and ecological restoration measures in Natura 2000 areas, while creating room for economic development. The aim of the PAS is to ensure that conservation goals can be achieved while facilitating further economic development around Natura 2000 areas within strict environmental limits. In this way, the PAS connects economy and ecology. In this paper we will present the PAS and the AERIUS instrument which is built and used to define and watch the environmental limits. Therefore, AERIUS is not only a calculation tool, but also functions as a conceptual framework that was developed according to an innovative approach. An international review panel congratulates the Dutch government with the successful development and implementation of AERIUS.