Because too much nitrogen is emitted, which results in fewer plant and animal species, a decrease in biodiversity and the impoverishment of nature, the Flemish government wants to reduce emissions through the PAS, the Programmatic Approach to Nitrogen. This should ensure that there will be less nitrogen precipitation. The city of Ninove gives negative advice for the design, because it pays too little attention to the social and human impact.
Strict licensing framework
The PAS, the Programmatic Approach to Nitrogen, must ensure that there will be less nitrogen precipitation. To this end, the Flemish government wants to have a strict licensing framework applied. For example, farmers will have to reduce their livestock.
In Ninove, both the Neigembos and the Geitenbos (south of Denderwindeke) are European protected nature areas where the amount of nitrogen precipitation must be reduced. About 150 farms are close enough to these forests to feel the impact of the PAS. The PAS design may jeopardize the liveability of these farms.
City of Ninove follows objections
The draft PAS was under public scrutiny until June 17, 19 objections were submitted in Ninove. The city supports the objectors and gives an unfavorable advice about this design. The College of Mayor and Aldermen is of the opinion that the draft PAS does not provide sufficient legal certainty for the agricultural sector. Moreover, the work is generic and no tailor-made solution is offered for each individual company in relation to the nearby European Nature. The draft PAS also focuses too hard on agriculture and is not ambitious enough with regard to reductions in the mobility sector and industry. It also does not pay enough attention to the social and human impact.
Mayor Tania De Jonge: “We realize that measures are needed to achieve the European conservation objectives. But we are also concerned about the economic impact on our farms that have invested, expanded and obtained the necessary permits in recent years. We want the Flemish Government to take these justified concerns into account.”
Alderman for the environment Vande Winkel: “We fully support the objectives of the policy, but the way in which it is implemented raises questions. If customization can offer a solution for a number of companies, this should be considered. In addition, legal certainty for farmers must be fully clarified.”