Hans Mommaas


Since 2015, Hans Mommaas (1955) has been the Director-General of PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency in The Hague. He also holds the position of Professor of Regional Sustainability Governance at Tilburg University. He studied Western Sociology at the former Wageningen Agricultural College. In 1993, Hans Mommaas obtained his PhD degree from Tilburg University with his thesis ‘Modernity, Leisure and the City’ (Moderniteit, Vrijetijd en de Stad). In 2000, he authored a WRR study on ‘the leisure industry in city and countryside’ (De vrijetijdsindustrie in stad en land). In 2009, together with co-author Nienke van Boom, he published a study on ‘Comeback cities’ in Europe (Nai Publishers). Up to 2015, he was Professor of Leisure Studies at Tilburg University and Visiting Professor of Culture Management at the University of Antwerp. In addition, he was Science Director at TELOS (Brabant Centre for Sustainable Development), and associate member of the Dutch Council for the Environment and Infrastructure (Rli). Between 2008 and 2012, he was Professor of Urban Dynamics and Culture at Utrecht University. In addition, over the 2008–2011 period, Hans Mommaas was one of the Science Directors of Transforum, an innovation programme for agriculture and green space. His current publications and research interests are focused on sustainable regional/spatial development issues (urban–rural).



The role of dairy in resource-smart food systems: challenges and opportunities

Dairy plays a valuable role in human nutrition, although this role varies strongly between countries. Dairy production also provides a livelihood for many people. On the other hand, current production methods have a large impact on the environment; they lead to significant greenhouse gas emissions, affect terrestrial biodiversity and often result in nutrient losses. In addition, the natural resources needed in food production (e.g. land, water and biodiversity) often are not managed sustainably.

In western countries particularly, dairy foods are often anonymous products, with many consumers having lost touch with how milk and dairy products are produced. Farmers have to produce increasing amounts of milk, for lower prices. Revaluing the role of dairy food and dairy farmers in food production and landscape management, may be an important step in establishing resource-smart food systems that also include dairy products.


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