PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency is the national institute for strategic policy analysis in the fields of the environment, nature and spatial planning. We contribute to improving the quality of political and administrative decision-making by conducting outlook studies, analyses and evaluations in which an integrated approach is considered paramount. Policy relevance is the prime concern in all our studies. We conduct solicited and unsolicited research that is always independent and scientifically sound.
PBL is an autonomous research institute in the fields of the environment, nature and spatial planning. It is part of the Dutch Government organisation; more specifically, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. Other government departments – in particular the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (Housing and Government Services) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – may also ask PBL to conduct research into issues related to the environment, nature and spatial planning. The independence of PBL and its partner agencies CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis and the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP) is safeguarded in the Protocol for the Policy Assessment Agencies (Aanwijzingen voor de Planbureaus), Staatscourant (government gazette) 3200, 21 February 2012.
Professor Maarten Hajer is the Director-General of PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency.
The core tasks of PBL are:
- to investigate and document current environmental, ecological and spatial quality and to evaluate policy;
- to explore future social trends that influence environmental, ecological and spatial quality and to evaluate possible policy options;
- to identify social issues of importance to environmental, ecological and spatial quality and raise them for discussion;
- to identify possible strategic options for achieving government objectives in the fields of the environment, nature and spatial planning.
PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency was established in May 2008 when the Netherlands Institute for Spatial Research (RPB) merged with the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (MNP). The merger came about as part of the Government Reform (Vernieuwing van de Rijksdienst) programme, which resulted in the activities of RPB and MNP being transferred to PBL.