D5.6 Report on Narratives behind Directives Protecting the Environment

30 June 2019
Environmental protection
Internalization of agricultural production
Quantitative story-telling
De Olde et al.

De Olde EM, Ripoll Bosch R, Kok A, De Boer IJM, Giampietro M and Pereira A (2019). Report on Narratives behind Directives Protecting the Environment (Revision).  MAGIC (H2020–GA 689669) Project Deliverable 5.6. First version 30 November 2018, revision 30 June 2019.



This deliverable presents a social metabolism analysis and quality check of a narrative related to the policy domain of environmental protection. More specifically, the deliverable applies and reflects on the use of Quantitative Story Telling as an innovative approach to explore the feasibility, viability and desirability of a narrative. In this deliverable we analysed options for internalization of agricultural production and its impact on biodiversity. Four case studies (the Netherlands, France, Spain and the EU28) were used to reflect differences between countries and overall import characteristics, land use and livestock production. The FAOSTAT database of production and trade in livestock and crop products was used to identify and quantify the main import and export crop and livestock products in the four case studies. This gives an impression of the magnitude of the trade, its associated land use, the role of livestock production, the (im)possibilities of internalizing these imports, and the impact internalization could have on biodiversity. Although the four case studies are explorative, they show that the current import of crop products requires a substantial amount of land in other parts of the world and illustrate the complexity involved in internalization. Based on the results, we conclude that internalization of agricultural production based on current levels of import and export, would jeopardize commitments made to reduce biodiversity loss.


The consequences of full and partial internalization of agricultural production (based on current levels of import and export) for biodiversity loss can be further explored for four case studies, the Netherlands, France, Spain and the European Union, through interactive Excel data sheets that have been made available on Zenodo. They can be accessed through the following link: https://zenodo.org/record/3267067.