Sustainable development

Nature and landscape index

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The nature and landscape index is a nature classification system that aims to unite all management and policy systems in a single system. The index will be used as the basis for the nature and landscape management subsidy system (Subsidiestelsel Natuur- en Landschapsbeheer) and is consistent with the Natura 2000 and Water Framework Directive habitat types.

Index links previous databases

The nature and landscape index (Index NL) is a nature classification system that consolidates existing systems:

  • the target groups from the management programme for natural areas (Programma Beheer);
  • the Dutch Forestry Commission target types;
  • the 'nature types' defined by the Natuurmonumenten conservation organisation.

Index groups and levels

The index classifies nature into management types, with as little overlap as possible. A management type is therefore not a management form such as integrated forestry management, but a specific type of nature for which a specific form of management is required. Examples of management types are 'dry heathland', 'wet heathland', 'dune woodland', and 'shifting sands'. The provincial authorities indicate the current or required management type in nature management plans and at plot level. Under the new nature and landscape subsidy system (SNL), a subsidy can only be given for the management type specified.

The provincial authorities have converted their plans for natural areas, with the old 'nature target types' (i.e. combinations of plant and animal species preferred for a particular area), into new nature management plans using the new Index NL management types.
There are four groups and three levels in the Index NL.

  • Nature. Natural areas in the Netherlands have been divided into seventeen so-called 'nature types'. This is the level at which national government formulates its nature policy. A number of management types have been defined within each nature type, giving a total of 48 nature management types. These are used by the provincial authorities and managers of natural areas. Management guidelines or packages have been replaced by a general management obligation.
  • Landscape. Landscape elements have been divided into 4 types, which have been sub-divided into a total of 20 management types. Of these 20 types, 13 apply to nature management. All 20 landscape types apply to agri-environment schemes, along with a third level of management specifications.
  • Agri-environment management types. Subsidies for agri-environment schemes are based on the agri-environment management types. Two agri-environment types have been defined, with five management types. These have been sub-divided into management packages with management specifications.
  • Recreation types. Five recreation types have been defined. These are not yet operational, and not yet included in the SNL.

Provincial nature management plans

Subsidies are granted based on the nature management plans, which are based on two types of maps.

  • The management type map displays the management type for all natural areas in the province, at plot level. A management subsidy may only be requested for this specific management type. The manager of a natural area can therefore not choose from a range of different management types.
  • The ambition map shows where new natural habitats are to be developed, where the existing nature type is to be replaced by a different type, and where the existing habitats need improving. Quality improvements are to be implemented based on the ambition map.

The three ambition maps (above) show the allocation of the management types within the provincial nature management plans in 2009. Not every province had completed this process in 2009.


  • Bal, D., H.M. Beije, M. Felliger, R. Haveman, A.J.F.M. van Opstal en F.J. van Zadelhoff (2001). Handboek natuurdoeltypen. Rapport Expertisecentrum LNV 2001/020, Wageningen.
  • LNV (2000). Natuur voor mensen, mensen voor natuur. Nota natuur, bos en landschap in de 21e eeuw. Ministerie van Landbouw, Natuurbeheer en Voedselkwaliteit, 's-Gravenhage.
  • LNV (2004). Agenda voor een Vitaal Platteland. Ministerie van Landbouw, Natuurbeheer en Voedselkwaliteit, 's-Gravenhage.
  • IPO. Studio van Pelt, design Amsterdam (2009). Subsidiestelsel Natuur- en Landschap

Archief van deze indicator

Referentie van deze webpagina

CBS, PBL, RIVM, WUR (2014). Nature and landscape index (indicator 1544, versie 01 , 20 May 2014 ). Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (CBS), Den Haag; PBL Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving, Den Haag; RIVM Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu, Bilthoven; en Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen.

Het CLO is een samenwerkingsverband van CBS, PBL, RIVM en WUR.