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  Nutrient reduction strategies in Denmark  
  International co-operation to abate marine eutrofication  
Figure 3.1
Illustration of the concept of strategic environmental planning.


One of the guiding principles in the Danish work on abatement of pollution in general and nutrient enrichment and eutrophication in particular is “strategic environmental planning”. The intentions of the principle is to deal with environmental problems in a coherent way and that policies are to be developed as a process with the following elements:

  • Political agreements on goals.
  • Implementation of agreed measures.

  • Continuous monitoring and regular production of assessment reports, aiming at a higher level of understanding of the actual problem.

  • Periodic evaluations and adjustments (if relevant) of goals and measures.

The principle which is illustrated in figure 3.1 shall ensure that the goals can either be met with the agreed measures or – if goals are not met – that measures should be revised or even supplemented with additional measures. The overall goal is to ensure that environmental policies become more preventive, holistic and target orientated.

The Danish administration put emphasis on that the principles of strategic environmental planning are implemented at all levels and in all actions aiming at a healthier aquatic environment. Danish policies to improve the health of the marine environment have been and will be based on the available information on relations between society and environmental responses to changes, effects of measures and effectiveness of the measures etc.

The Danish policies and strategies to abate eutrophication of the aquatic environment are an illustrative example on how the concept of strategic environmental planning works. The strategies and measures as well as the chronology (1986-2002) are described in Nutrient reduction strategies in Denmark.

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Danish Environmental Protection Agency & National Environmental Research Institute • updated: