WENR20 Landscape approach fate and effect assessments

Aanleiding van het project

In the future, landscape scale approaches could be adopted to supplement higher tier regulatory assessment for pesticides in the EU to make environmental risk assessment of chemicals more relevant and realistic (EFSA 2014; EFSA 2016; Topping et al., 2015). Chemical fate and ecological modelling approaches allow for the linking between exposure and effect dynamics in space and time and hence for the spatial explicit, landscape-level quantification of risk in aquatic and terrestrial systems. Examples of integrated approaches at landscape scales exist in the literature (Van den Brink et al., 2007; Galic et al., 2012, 2013; Focks et al., 2014, Baveco et al., 2014, Topping and Lagisz 2012, Topping et al, 2014), but are scarce and of an ad-hoc nature, i.e. they do not derive their approaches from generic integration principles for risk assessments. Therefore these approaches cannot be integrated in regulatory process yet.

This project aims to improve the basis of the (integrated) landschape approach in order to provide for a sound basis for future regulations.

Doel van het project

The objective is to develop a framework for the application of landscape-scale, integrated exposure and effect modelling for environmental risk assessment.
The framework will contain:
* stepwise schemes for typical “problem settings” or regulatory questions, that allow one to derive for different biological endpoints, such as:
– most vulnerable species,
– appropriate spatial and temporal scales for exposure and effect modelling, and
– the most important environmental parameters to be considered.

The project will also:
* cover the process of translating calculated risk estimates into regulatory decisions, and
* consider the technical aspects of coupling exposure and effect models in a flexible way.

Omschrijving van de activiteiten

The activities in the project are divided over 5 work packages. Content of these work packages ranges from the general, abstract and conceptual level (WP1) to the very concrete level of technical implementation details (WP3). Working out the relevance for regulatory decisions and the communication with involved stakeholders is planned for WP4 and WP5.

WP1 Framework Development
WP2 Framework Implementation
WP3 Technical Implementation
WP4 Derivation of Regulatory Risk Assessment Decisions
WP5 Stakeholder dialogue

ad3. In the project, several existing approaches for technical integration and coupling of models will be evaluated. Long-term perspective may be “a machine which encapsulates all models inside, and only has to be fed with data and exposure scenarios”.

Verwachte resultaten

The project will result in
* stepwise / tiered schemes, that serves for different biological taxon groups to identify most vulnerable species, appropriate spatial and temporal scales for exposure and effect modelling, and the most important environmental parameters.
* examples of integrated exposure and effect assessments for some of the typical choices for temporal and spatial scales, application areas
* strategies to transform the numerical spatially-explicit risk estimates into information that can be used for regulatory decision making.

A further spin-off of the approach is that it offers options for improvement of communication with risk managers.


This project will provide a practical framework for risk assessement decisions based on an integrated approach. Up to now, these ideas are ad-hoc and based on literature only. Within this project a standard for the techincal premises for the assessment (integration and coupling of models) will be developed. Also, suggestions for ammending the tiopical regulatory framework for chemicals assessemnt will be developed.


The aim of the project is to communicate broadly and deliver a scientific sound framework that will become part of the regulatory process. Hence scientifc publications will be aimed for as well as an open dialogue with policy makers and regulatory bodies.