From Top–Down Regulation to Bottom–Up Solutions : Reconfiguring Governance of Agricultural Nutrient Loading to Waters

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/307450

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Belinskij , A , Iho , A , Paloniitty née Korvela , T & Soininen , N 2019 , ' From Top–Down Regulation to Bottom–Up Solutions : Reconfiguring Governance of Agricultural Nutrient Loading to Waters ' , Sustainability , vol. 11 , no. 19 , 5364 . https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195364

Title: From Top–Down Regulation to Bottom–Up Solutions : Reconfiguring Governance of Agricultural Nutrient Loading to Waters
Author: Belinskij, Antti; Iho, Antti; Paloniitty née Korvela, Tiina; Soininen, Niko
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Law
University of Helsinki, Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS)
Date: 2019-10-01
Language: eng
Number of pages: 14
Belongs to series: Sustainability
ISSN: 2071-1050
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/307450
Abstract: Animal agriculture is shifting toward larger farms and regional agglomerations in many countries. In step with this development, manure nutrients have started accumulating regionally, and are leading to increasing eutrophication problems. Nevertheless, the same trend may also prompt innovations in manure treatment. For example, Valio Ltd (the largest dairy processer in Finland) is planning a network of facilities that would remove water from manure, fraction the nutrients in it, and produce biogas from the excess methane. One of the main hurdles in developing this technology is that the current regulatory framework does not support a shift from diffuse loading, which is seen in the traditional application of manure on fields, to point-source loading; the regulations may even prevent such a change. This article analyzes a governance framework that addresses this dilemma in EU–Finland, and discusses how the governance described could curtail the nutrient loading of agriculture to waters. The approach is based on adaptive governance theory. We argue that traditional top–down regulation, which emphasizes food security, contains serious shortcomings when it comes to managing agricultural nutrient loading to waters, and that the current regulatory framework does not necessarily have the adaptive capacity to facilitate new, bottom–up solutions for manure treatment. Interestingly, the strict water quality requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) open new windows of opportunity for such solutions, and thus for improving the overall sustainability of animal agriculture.
Subject: 513 Law
adaptive governance
regulation
EU law
animal agriculture
nutrient loading
eutrophication
manure treatment
water protection
food security
ANIMAL PRODUCTION
STRUCTURAL-CHANGE
FRAMEWORK
PHOSPHORUS
IMPACT
PRINCIPLES
MANAGEMENT
ECONOMICS
POLLUTION
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