ICP Modelling & Mapping

Interest in the critical loads and levels approach for pollution control has gathered momentum over the past decades. To provide strategies for emission reductions as inputs to the negotiations of protocols to the Convention, the International Co-operative Programme on Modelling and Mapping of Critical Levels and Loads and Air Pollution Effects, Risks and Trends (ICP Modelling and Mapping) was established in 1988.

The objectives of the ICP Modelling and Mapping are to determine receptor specific critical loads for indirect effects of the (long-term) deposition of various air pollutants and critical levels for direct effects of gaseous air pollutants; to map pollutant depositions and concentrations which exceed critical thresholds; and to establish appropriate methods as a basis for assessing potential damage, e.g. via dynamic modelling.

At present, around 30 Parties participate in the programme activities and contribute national data to be integrated into European critical load maps. For those countries that are unable to provide national data, various European databases on soil, land, climatic and other variables are used to calculate critical loads. The maps are used for integrated assessment modelling by the Task Force on Integrated Assessment Modelling (TFIAM). A Mapping Manual produced in collaboration with other ICPs describes methods for calculating critical loads and levels, as well as for dynamic modelling to be used by National Focal Centres.

The programme is co-ordinated by a Task Force under the leadership of France, located at the French National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks (INERIS), in collaboration with the Co-ordination Centre for Effects (CCE). In 2018, the CCE was transferred to the German Environment Agency (UBA, located in Dessau) from the Dutch National Institute for Public Health (RIVM), where it was established in 1990. Former Joint Expert Group on Dynamic Modelling (CDM) has been transferred to Centre for Dynamic Modelling and from January 2020 became a part of ICP Modelling and Mapping as its second programme centre. CDM is hosted by IVL Swedish Environmental Institute, Gothenburg, Sweden.

For more information, please visit the website of the Co-ordination Centre for Effects and the website of the Centre for Dynamic Modelling.