Nature Balance 2003
More than 80% of the Dutch environmental and nature policy in the Netherlands is laid down in Brussels. Implementation of this policy is, however, causing conflicts with Dutch policy, as seen, for example, in the Nitrate Directive. Still, common European environmental measures are often preferable since they are frequently cheaper than national measures. What is needed now is a strategic Dutch environmental policy emanating from both The Hague and Brussels.
Headlines in Nature Balance 2003
Climate change is already bringing about structural changes in nature: plant and animal habitats are shifting and species are adapting their life cycles. The temperature is rising so fast that not all plant and animal species are expected to be able to keep up. These changes can be eased by policies for creating a coherent network of nature areas so that plants and animals can reach suitable new habitats. This is the aim of the National Ecological Network (NEN), but its assembly is behind schedule and in danger of falling further behind.
Many plant and animal populations in the Netherlands are declining in number. In most of the conservation areas designated under the Birds and Habitats Directives, the environmental quality is not good enough for the long-term protection of species. Outside the protected areas, the rural landscape is becoming an increasingly difficult barrier for plants and animals to cross because of expanding urbanization and intensive agricultural practices.
The reference framework is the area of land that should have been assembled by the end of 2002 based on the ‘old’ targets that applied up to the end of 2002, and assuming linear progress from the start in 1990 to the final goal in 2018.
The ‘new’ targets are the area targets after the changes made by the previous coalition government at the end of 2002.
This change of course reduces the area of land to be purchased for natural habitat development and increases the area to be covered by agreements with private landowners on the use and management of their land for nature conservation.
|Author(s)||Milieu- en Natuurplanbureau MNP - RIVM|