Preface

On 1 January 1999 NERI had existed for 10 years. From the very beginning, considerable emphasis has been placed on the continual improvement of NERI’s products and the strengthening of the scientific production, primarily in the form of international scientific articles. NERI’s environmental monitoring activities have been modernized and expanded throughout the period. NERI has also attached importance to continually improving its consultancy activities for agencies, municipalities, counties, etc. Finally, greater priority has recently been accorded to dissemination of the institution’s knowledge to the general public, among other things in the form of a series of Danish language theme reports and a quarterly newsletter, "DMU Nyt". When NERI now embarks upon its second decade, it does so in the assurance that the institution has strengthened its position in research, monitoring, consultancy and dissemination of information during its first decade.

NERI is to celebrate its 10th anniversary with the conference "Danish Environmental Research 1999" to be held in Copenhagen on 19-20 August.

Throughout most of 1998, a discussion raged in the Danish press on the economic basis for prioritizing environmental policy: Is the basis on which priorities are assigned adequate? Are the priorities right? NERI participated actively in this debate, both indirectly and directly. Indirectly, through the publication of the state-of-the-environment report "The State of the Environment in Denmark, 1997", which gives the Ministry of Environment and Energy’s overall status for development in the environment and nature. Directly, by answering articles and chronicles in the printed press and by cooperating with the engineering weekly "Ingeniøren" on arranging a well-attended debate meeting on environmental economics.

As a contribution towards strengthening efforts within economics and policy analysis, NERI and Risø National Laboratory have jointly established the "Centre for Analysis of Environment, Economy and Society" by integration of NERI’s Department of Policy Analysis and the corresponding department at Risø National Laboratory. To strengthen the work at the Centre, NERI has announced a research professorship in environmental economics. In addition, NERI has announced a professorship in marine ecology and, together with Aarhus University, is working on establishing a professorship in freshwater ecology. The announcement of the professorships is done in cooperation with the Danish Research Councils. NERI expects that the coming research professors will strengthen NERI’s competence.

In this anniversary year, NERI looks forward to commencing construction of an extension at the Roskilde premises to enable completion of the merger with the Greenland Environmental Research Institute. The Department of Arctic Environment is expected to move into the new premises in mid 2000.

The present report primarily aims to provide a general account of NERI’s activities, presenting new results and selected initiatives for the coming year. Further analyses of the progress made can be found in NERI’s annual accounts, which are expected to be published in May (only available in Danish). A brief description of the activities planned for 1999 can be found in the project database on NERI’s Internet homepage: www.NERI.dk

Henrik Sandbech

Hans E. Zeuthen

Henrik Sandbech
Director General

Hans E. Zeuthen
Chairman of the Board