Nature Outlook 2010-2040

Coherent policy

Cash register with accountable

Decentralisation and substantive policy revisions are bringing about major changes in the division of roles between the various tiers of government. Even within these administrative levels, there have been major changes. With the creation of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, the focus on the relationship between economics and ecology has grown.

Coordinate European, national and regional policy

Provincial and municipal authorities will have a greater role in spatial, nature and water policies. These authorities will have a greater chance of success if they take and are given the room to apply the policy instruments in a coordinated and coherent manner. For example, the coordinated implementation of national policy (on the revised National Ecological Network), European policy (e.g. the Water Framework Directive, Common Agricultural Policy, Natura 2000) and provincial policies.

Make policy coherent

Better coordination of central government policy would be highly beneficial for nature policy; for example, coordination between policies on flood protection (water safety) and nature. To achieve this level of coordination it is necessary to halt the trend of sectoral thinking. The Delta Programme, for example, is still largely focused only on flood protection policy, and nature policy hardly takes policy into account that arises from the Water Framework Directive.

Coordinate land- and sea-related policies

Policy on marine matters increasingly touches policy on land issues and vice versa; for example, when finding locations at sea for certain activities, such as power generation and CO2 storage, in cases where there is no room available on land. Food production requires extra attention: policies on agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture are increasingly connecting around the production of protein-rich foods. An example is the development of sea farms.

National government should take responsibility for policy related to the marine environment

The North Sea remains the direct responsibility of the national government, and this also applies to related nature policy issues. This is not only the case because the government is the first point of contact for matters related to compliance with international agreements, but also because area-related processes require coordination.

See also:

Develop a sub-programme on the North Sea under the Delta Programme

The Delta Programme offers scope for integrated solutions for the coastal regions through coordination between sectors (on food production, flood protection and nature). In this respect, the Delta Programme could develop a sub-programme on the North Sea. Such a sub-programme would ensure better coordination of what is wanted on land with the natural forces and riches of the North Sea; for instance, sand extraction, protein supply and nature value.

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