Ex Ante Impact Assessment of Policies Affecting Land Use, Part A: Analytical Framework
Contemporary policy making calls for scientific support to anticipate the possible consequences of optional policy decisions on sustainable development. This paper presents an analytical framework for ex ante assessment of economic, social, and environmental impacts of policy driven land use changes that can be used as an aid to policy making. The tasks were to (1) link policy scenarios with land use change simulations, (2) link land use change simulations with environmental, social, and economic impacts through indicators, and (3) valuate the impacts in the context of sustainable development. The outcome was a basis for dialogue at the science-policy interface in the process of developing new policies on the European level that impact on land and land use. The analytical approach provides a logical thread for ex ante impact assessment within the context of sustainable development, land use multifunctionality, and land use change and it provides a thorough discussion of achievements and open challenges related to the framework. It concludes with considerations on the potential for using evidence based ex ante assessments in the process of policy development. The paper is complemented by a B-paper providing exemplary results from two applications of the framework: a financial reform scenario of the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union, and a bioenergy policy scenario for the case of Poland.