Sustainable agriculture within the Baltic Sea Region: Do policy measures respond to policy objectives?

| Type artikkel: Rapport
The Baltic Sea is dying. Oxygen-free bottom zones are increasing despite the binding targets of Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorous (P) reduction in the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP). Nutrient runoff from agriculture is the most important source of this eutrophication. According to the EU, sustainable agriculture in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) concerns several political objectives, including reducing eutrophication by nutrient abatement measures, sustain economic viability of farms and benefit society as a whole.
This report synthesizes policy and management measures for sustainable agriculture in the BSR that have been discussed in the scientific literature and subsequently assess how those measures meet key policy objectives and stakeholder preferences. The aim of this report is to (a) assess how different measures respond to the various policy objectives, (b) identify synergies and tradeoffs, i.e. whether a measure targeting one policy objective counteracts or contributes to other policy objectives, and (c) detect knowledge gaps. A multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) is used as an overarching framework for this assessment, where a stakeholder dialogue and questionnaire are used for valuation and ranking of objectives and related policies. Representatives from four stakeholder groups participated in the dialogue/workshop: researchers, policy makers, farmers, and civil society. The focus of the stakeholder dialogue (“workshop”) and of the scientific literature review was the role of agriculture for saving the Baltic Sea.