Nature Balance 2004
During the last few decades urban expansion in the Netherlands has led to a reduction in the quality of Dutch landscapes. Historic features continue to disappear. The government’s new National Spatial Strategy identifies twenty National Landscapes where the implementation of landscape and heritage policies will be concentrated. This approach appears to be a promising one, on the condition that a clear assessment framework is developed. This is all the more relevant because the government has also decided on a limited regime of planning protection for the National Landscapes. The provincial councils, which will be responsible for pursuing the policy and have a central coordinating role, now face the challenge of developing a vision for implementing national landscape policies and ensuring that they are translated into regional and local plans. Calls for clear objectives and firm direction from government have also been made with respect to other areas of nature and landscape policy, particularly for the development of green recreational areas near the cities.
What is the Nature Balance?
The Nature Balance is an annual assessment of the natural environment and landscape in The Netherlands. It monitors policy developments in the field of landscape and natural environment and gives a view on emerging perspectives. It is produced by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (MNP), a joint venture of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and Wageningen University and Research Centre (Wageningen-UR).
The Nature Balance is available only in Dutch. The summary is available in English
Topics Nature Balance 2004
Landscape and land use
Further decline in landscape quality and loss of historic feature. Landscape policy delivers variable results. Initiatives in National Landscapes are promising but risky. Implementation of the Randstad Green Structure is faltering. To achieve policy goals, green projects in the Randstad need firm direction.
Nature in the Netherlands
Natura 2000 areas protect Dutch species and habitats. Trends in species vary according to ecosystem type and species. Development of the National Ecological Network continues, but on a riskier course. Spatial connectivity of ecosystems remains the goal, but results are slow to materialize. Further environmental improvements in the National Ecological Network are required for nature quality as desired.
Actors and policy
There is widespread commitment to nature and the landscape, but also need for direction and continuity. A policy involving private participation appears to have prospects.
|Author(s)||Milieu- en Natuurplanbureau MNP - RIVM|