Participation in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive in Denmark: The prospects for active involvement

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Public participation in the form of informing, consulting and actively involving all interested parties is required during the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). This paper discusses progress with implementation of the WFD in Denmark and the measures taken to conform to the requirements for public participation. The first aim of the paper is to establish whether enough is being done regarding participation in Denmark, the conclusion being that whilst Denmark is in line with statutory requirements, consultation appears limited whilst evidence of active involvement is lacking. The paper then presents the Danish AGWAPLAN project which actively involved farmers in selecting measures to reduce diffuse nutrient pollution from agriculture. The second aim of the paper is to establish whether nationwide implementation of the AGWAPLAN concept is worthwhile. AGWAPLAN resulted in outcomes which could potentially increase the effectiveness of the WFD. Furthermore, the adoption of the project approach would also be one way to satisfy the requirement for active involvement in the Directive. However, some problems exist, relating to time, administrative costs, problems with control and the fact that additional measures to reduce N leaching would be necessary. Whether national implementation is worthwhile requires the weighing up of the advantages and disadvantages of the concept, which is ultimately a political decision.

Keywords: Active involvement, Cost-effectiveness, Denmark, Diffuse nutrient pollution, Public participation, Water Framework Directive

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