Nature’s Imperative

The Council concludes that implementation of nature policy can be both more effective and more ambitious.
Photo town and countryside

In this advisory report, the Council offers recommendations for the modernisation of nature policy, whereby the emphasis is on enhancing effectiveness and achieving even greater societal support. The proposals contained in the report address issues such as financing arrangements and ways to increase the synergy between nature and other societal objectives such as public health and flood safety.

The Netherlands’ nature is changing rapidly. Some species are thriving and their numbers increasing. This is partly the result of climate change but is also due to human interventions such as the restoration of habitats and the release of agricultural land. At the same time, however, a number of species are in ongoing decline. As yet, we have been unable to implement the measures necessary to halt this trend.

Dutch society is also changing at a rapid pace, not least in terms of attitudes towards nature. A growing number of people feel a personal responsibility for the nature in their immediate surroundings. Given this new setting, we must urgently seek ways in which to assure Dutch nature of a sustainable future. This is likely to entail exploring new arrangements for financing and governance, as well as efforts to engage the business community and the general public more closely in nature conservation and development.

In producing this advisory report, the Council seeks to strengthen the scientific evidence base for nature policy and to establish the place of nature on the political and social agenda. The report was presented to the State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Ms Sharon Dijksma, on 16 May 2013.

A short film accompanies the advisory report.