The Advisory Council for Research on Spatial Planning, Nature and the Environment (Raad voor Ruimtelijk, Natuur- en Mileu-Onderzoek, RMNO) was established in 1981 to produce advice and background studies for the government of the Netherlands, either on its own initiative or in response to requests from ministries, on the content and organisation of research concerning spatial planning, the environment, nature and landscape. RMNO worked as a knowledge broker between science, politics and society, with a focus on mid- and long-term planning. It was the last of a special type of Dutch advisory councils, the so-called ‘sector councils’, who did not give policy advise, but functioned as scienc-policy interface, in a societal context in which also business and civil society were involved. To sum up: RMNO’s core intervention was not giving answers, but asking questions.

Per 31st December 2009, after almost 30 years of service, the RMNO was abolished by the then Dutch Government.

PS4SD has a special relation with RMNO. Founder Louis Meuleman was director of RMNO from 2002-2009, and associate Roel in ‘t Veld has been chair for 15 years until the end, 31th December 2009. Founder Inge Niestroy was hosted by RMNO from 2002-2005, as secretary-general to the European EEAC network. RMNO’s archive has been partially saved, and because we feel that the work of RMNO has been useful and should stay available for who would like to use it, we have put on this website what we have been able to save from RMNO publications. On this page, a number of RMNO publications are presented for download, some in Dutch, others in English or in both language versions.

Chairman Roel in ’t Veld in his ‘in memoriam’, end of 2009: “We are cleaning up now. Seeds have been spread. Nobody can take that away. If history exists, it will embrace our heritage” (“We zijn nu alles aan het opruimen. Zaadjes zijn verspreid. Dat neemt niemand ons af. Als de geschiedenis bestaat, zal de geschiedenis zich over onze nagedachtenis ontfermen”).


Nederlands (2010) De volle zaaiershanden – Advies over energietransitie

The very last RMNO report, published almost one year ‘post-mortem’, analyses four historic examples of energy transition: the natural gas transition in the 1960, CCS, off shore wind energy and heat energy.

Nederlands (2009) Slotakkoord

Book with reflections of 30 years RMNO, by some of the most closely involved.

English (UK) (2009/2000) Willingly and Knowingly – The roles of knowledge about nature and the environment in policy processes

This book, published in 2000 and re-issued in 2009, marks a watershed in thinking about the use of knowledge for environmental policy-making. It criticises the naïve rational model of a linear relationship between policy and knowledge.

English (UK) (2009) Knowledge Co-creation: Interaction between science and society


Nederlands (2009) Duurzame Ontwikkeling en Schiphol

How can we achieve a sustainable development of the governance field around the Netherlands’ national airport Schiphol? How to reach the most beneficla trade-off between people, planet and profit?

Nederlands (2009) Loslaten, maar niet overlaten – Succesvol regionaal water governance en de rol van rijkspartijen


English (UK) (2008) States of Nature – nature and fish stock reports for policy


English (UK) (2008) Social Cost Benefit Analysis for Environmental Policy-Making

This seminal report reviews the theoretical literature and the current debate on the valuation of environmental goods and services, on the discounting of future benefits and costs, and on how social cost benefit analysis (SCBAs) can be integrated in the policy and decisionmaking process.

English (UK) (2007) A new SD Strategy: An opportunity not to be missed

In 2007, RMNO organised an international peer review of the Netherlands Sustainable Development Strategy. The peer panel was composed by experts from government, science, NGOs and business from Finland, Germany and South Africa. This is the final report, as presented to the Dutch Prime Minister.

English (UK) (2006) Sustainable Development Strategy of the Netherlands

This is the background report to the peer review of the Dutch sustainable development strategy.

English (UK) (2003) Environmental governance in Europe

This book combines the proceedings of the 11th EEAC Annual Conference of EEAC and RMNO with the European Universty Institute in Florence, the joint EEAC work there, and advice of individual EEAC councils and staff.

English (UK) (2003) Dealing with knowledge in transitions

Who ever asks the question what knowledge is relevant for transitions as seen from the eyes of the Dutch government, must ascertain beforehand to what extent the transitions problem fields can be influenced, or effectuated on a national scale, and how the part of the national government can be streamlined the (possible) role of regional and transnational governments.