In 1987, the Netherlands Commission for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) was established as an independent advisory body of experts by decree. The NCEA advises governments on the quality of environmental information in environmental assessment reports (EIA or SEA reports). These reports are not written by the NCEA: they are usually written by consultancy bureaus, for private initiators, local or provincial authorities and central government. The NCEA does not get involved in decision making or political considerations.
The NCEA’s activities abroad, are usually commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In line with their programme, attention is paid not only to environmental impacts but also to social and economic impacts, for example the living standards of local residents.
The two most important qualities of the NCEA are:
The NCEA’s status as an autonomous foundation ensures that its assessments are achieved independently from government accountability and political considerations.
As well as issuing advisory reviews, the NCEA focuses on sharing and disseminating knowledge on environmental assessment.