Nature Outlook 2010-2040

Vital Nature

The conservation and restoration of biodiversity are the prime concern under the nature perspective of Vital Nature. The focus is mainly on nature that is rare beyond the national borders. In this way, the Netherlands accepts its international responsibility and contributes to maintaining biodiversity in Europe.

Under Vital Nature, every effort is made to address the current spatial and environmental pressures that drive biodiversity loss. Setting aside large, interconnected and cross-border nature areas is the most important means of doing this. These cross-border areas will also help to make nature climate proof.

Which problem will be tackled?

The conservation status of many of the species and natural habitats in the European Habitats and Birds Directives is not positive in the Netherlands. Even with the implementation of the national ecological network (EHS), as envisaged in the Dutch National Spatial Strategy, there would still be major conflicts in the spatial and environmental conditions. Many ecosystems of international importance, such as in the estuaries, are disappearing or are under severe threat. Vital Nature aims to halt this loss of biodiversity and work towards a recovery.

Why do people want this?

The intrinsic value of nature is at the heart of the nature perspective of Vital Nature; nature for nature’s sake. Part of this is that conservation should take place in a way which is as natural as possible. This is also sometimes referred to as the ‘wild nature concept’.
Under Vital Nature, it is not important whether or not nature is useful to mankind. Usefulness is no more than a by-product. Thus, recreation under Vital Nature is possible but clearly takes second place.

What is the policy strategy?

In Vital Nature, central government has a clear vision for the development of the ecological network and facilitates its realisation. To arrive at a robust network and give natural processes the room they need, coherence with spatial policy as well as national and European water policy will require careful attention. Many parties will be involved in the implementation, including other authorities and private parties.

More info

Pages on Vital Nature
- Vital Nature on the map
- A picture of Vital Nature
- Future impression of the landscape: Vital Nature
- Assessment of the effects of Vital Nature
- Vital Nature in Lake Grevelingen
- Vital Nature in Loonse and Drunense Dunes

Other relevant pages
- Four future impressions of the landscape
- Changes relative to existing nature
- Background: Challenges for nature
- Nature perspectives
- Four perspectives on the map


The Nature Outlook is a statutory product of the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency with cooperation from Wageningen UR.