The NAT Section is responsible for the EESC's work on policies related to agriculture and environment. This includes large future-oriented issues such as the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the review of the Sustainable Development Strategy and climate change policies.
Additionally, the section works on more specific and technical issues such as waste, air quality, biodiversity, forestry, fisheries management and control, food safety, civil protection and animal health and welfare.
In addition to being consulted on a mandatory basis as lays down in the Treaties, the Committee can be consulted on an exploratory basis by one of the major European Institutions or by the EU Presidency, and it can take its own initiative to issue opinions. The NAT Section is frequently involved in drafting such exploratory and initiative opinions.
The section also organises numerous hearings and conferences and maintains contacts and networks with other European Union Institutions, national, regional and local governments, as well as with civil society organisations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), thus playing a role as an intermediary between organised civil society and the public authorities.