Acquire the data

Subtask Description:
Economic and social analysis.

Action points of the implementation:
Set up the social and economic analysis by planning their scope and by acquiring the data for their implementation.

Result : Economic and social dimensions of environmental changes 

Scheldt Delta, Netherlands

Policy Issue:
Nitrogen source apportionment for the catchment, estuary and adjacent coastal waters.

Human Activities:
Agriculture, urban and industry activities, fisheries, tourism.

General Information:
The case study is related to an assessment of the major WFD objective for good ecological quality in the river catchment and the coastal zone, i.e. phytoplankton concentration, which is depended on nitrogen availability. The nitrogen load from the neighbouring countries is four times higher than the loads in the Netherlands itself. The study, connected to the main stakeholder concerns, is focused on a) the social and economic analysis of apportionment of Nitrogen objectives in the river catchment and b) feasibility and costs of nitrate reduction measures concerning agriculture, households and natural areas.

Example of Implementation:
The social component will be reflected in the scenarios and in the modelled economic behaviour of farmers. Two key aspects of the social model component are:

The user of the ESE model will have the possibility to choose both the time period over which a measure achieves its effect and the fraction of the target that is reached over this time. For example, whether an 80% reduction in the nitrogen concentration should reached in 20% of the time. This model setup reflects the reality of a delayed effect of policy implementation, and allows for sensitivity analyses. The actual intervention will only occur with a four-year electoral time interval in the model. This means that every four years the modelled concentration is compared with the projected target value and used to adapt the policy, thus leading to feedback from the social model to the economic model. The willingness of farmers to participate will be incorporated in the social model component and passed to the economic model component as a parameter affecting the farming practice. Furthermore, there is a separate social aspect, which will be included in the economic model for technical reasons: a check on the income of farmers against a norm income at the regional level. The outcomes of this check affect the number of farms that will close down in the next time step of the simulation.

Contact: Bert van Eck,