Modern Environmental Agreements: A Policy Instrument Becomes a Management Strategy
The current trend in environmental policy is to combine public-private partnership and problem-solving among industries with a classic approach to governance within a legal framework. The country that has probably made the greatest strides toward a comprehensive approach to environmental management is the Netherlands. This paper briefly reviews the history of that approach before analysing the phenomenon of modern environmental agreements. As this analysis reveals, the comprehensive approach has strengthened the implementation of Dutch environmental policy. At the same time, it has fallen short in the core area of environmental management: the assessment of pros and cons of environment and economy. Because of the limited scope of governance, the fundamental issues of sustainability are not being addressed at present. The paper concludes that modern environmental agreements are appropriate to a certain phase of environmental policy. In that light, some prospects for further development are discussed.
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