Logo of the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
To the main menuTo the main content

Nature Balance 2008 summary

Report | 10-09-2008
Aerial view over a dutch river delta

To improve the quality of marine habitats, it is necessary to make the fishery more sustainable, improve the water quality and restore the natural dynamics. For the North Sea, spatial regulation is also important. The growth in the area of terrestrial nature reserves and the improvements in the environmental conditions for terrestrial and freshwater habitats have tapered off in recent years. Without supplementary measures, most nature policy targets will not be achieved.

Main conclusions of the Nature Balance 2008

  • The quality of habitats in the Wadden Sea has improved slightly, but additional protection is required to conserve these habitats.
  • In the North Sea, no improvement is yet noticeable. To protect marine habitats, it is necessary to make the fishery more sustainable, reduce environmental pressure and provide certain areas with additional protection.
  • The quality of the surface water has improved, and can improve further. However, this is still not sufficient to comply with agreements made at the European level about protecting nature reserves of European importance.
  • A corridor of wetland nature reserves throughout the Netherlands can prepare the natural habitats in the country for a changing climate. Plants and animals can better adapt to the new climate conditions. Moreover, this might contribute to the safety of the low-lying parts of the Netherlands.
  • The total area of nature reserves in the Netherlands is increasing. But the environmental quality and the spatial conditions are not improving rapidly enough to attain the policy targets. The expenditures can be more efficiently attuned to the results desired by the government.
  • Nature policy does not stop at the national borders. Therefore citizens in the Netherlands are discussing the effect that they have on the quality of habitats elsewhere in the world. Without considering all the implications and taking suitable measures, it will be very difficult to stop the worldwide loss of biodiversity.
Author(s)Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving (PBL)
Report no.500402015
Publication date11-09-2008
RemarksOnly the summary is available in English. The full report is in Dutch only.