Environmental Data Compendium
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Realising the new Dutch National Ecological Network - land acquisition and redevelopment, 1990 - 2012

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By 31 December 2012, the land area acquired for the Dutch National Ecological Network (NEN) had risen to 90,251 hectares, 57,637 ha of which has been redeveloped. The recent 'Natuurpact' covenant (2013) made the target for acquisition and redevelopment part of the national objective of developing resilient natural habitats.

Shift in nature conservation policy and altered ecological objectives

In 2010, the Dutch government decided to transfer a number of tasks relating to spatial planning, the economy and nature conservation from the national government to provincial governments. This decision continued the trend towards decentralisation of nature and landscape policies from national to provincial authorities that had started a few decades ago. The national and provincial governments set out their new ambitions regarding the development and conservation of natural habitats in the Netherlands for the period until 2027 in a September 2013 covenant called Natuurpact. The Dutch name of the National Ecological Network (NEN) was changed to 'Natuurnetwerk Nederland' (NNN), reflecting a change in focus. In the Natuurpact covenant, the national and provincial governments and a large number of civil society parties agreed to collaborate to achieve rich and attractive natural habitats in the Netherlands that offer value to society. One of the ways to achieve this is by making existing natural areas less vulnerable. The covenant also means that the targets for land acquisition and redevelopment have changed: the target is now the acquisition and redevelopment of an additional 35,000 ha, and the realisation of natural corridors linking natural areas. In addition, at least 80,000 ha of natural areas are to be redeveloped in the period up to 2027.

Acquisition and redevelopment process continues steadily

The area of land for new natural habitats that has been acquired for inclusion in the NEN has gradually grown since 1999. In 2011 and 2012, over 4,000 ha were acquired locally and transferred to the area managers. In the same period, over 8,000 ha of natural areas have been redeveloped.


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Reference for this page

CBS, PBL, RIVM, WUR (2014). Realising the new Dutch National Ecological Network - land acquisition and redevelopment, 1990 - 2012 (indicator 1307, version 10 , 24 September 2014 ). www.environmentaldata.nl. Statistics Netherlands (CBS), The Hague; PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, The Hague; RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven; and Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen.

The Environmental Data Compendium is a partnership of CBS, PBL, RIVM and WUR.