From land purchase to nature management II: ex ante evaluation of a change in Netherlands' nature policy
For several years now, the central government has been wanting to increase the involvement of farmers and other private landowners in nature conservation. This policy is known as the 'turnabout'. The conditions are that the costs should not exceed those of government acquisition of nature reserves and management by official nature conservation organisations, and that the same ecological results should be attained. The question remains: is this realistic? Are private landowners and farmers willing to participate in nature conservation? Can the ecological results and desired biodiversity of the conservation policy be achieved? And to what extent can the budget remain the same?
Extra effort needed to achieve the desired result from the 'turnabout' of nature conservation policy
The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (MNP) has compared nature conservation by official nature conservation organisations, by private landowners and by farmers with respect to factors such as willingness to participate, ecological results and economic effects. MNP’s conclusion is that the 'turnabout' will simply not have the desired effect. Thus far, there is too little interest in private nature conservation. If the policy remains as it is, agricultural nature conservation will seldom achieve the conservation targets that are indeed met by official nature conservation organisations.
Private nature conservation does appear economically attractive for the participants, and participation could be improved with specific individual advice and support from the government. Agricultural nature conservation requires supplementary policy in relation to continuity and nature development options, and it also needs supplementary financial compensation. Considering that agricultural nature conservation is cheaper than management by official nature conservation organisations, there is potential to negotiate such changes.
|Author(s)||Koeijer T de (eds)|