Mar 31, 2023 at 11:27Update: 4 minutes ago
Four nature reserves in South Holland and Limburg are not in good shape. But the provinces still have too little insight into the causes of the problems, the Ecological Authority concluded on Friday. All provinces must make analyzes of a total of 130 nature reserves before 1 July. They form the basis for decisions about what the rural area should look like.
South Holland and Limburg must provide additional information so that well-founded measures can be included in the area programmes.
The Ecological Authority looked at the so-called nature target analyzes that the provinces supplied for the nature areas Nieuwkoopse Plassen & De Haeck (near Alphen aan den Rijn), Broekvelden, Vettenbroek & Polder Stein (in the Groene Hart), Meinweg (near Roermond) and Maasduinen (on the German border near Venray).
“All four areas have to deal with too little or too much water, poor water quality and too much nitrogen,” the authority concludes.
For all four areas, according to the authority, “more insight is needed into the system: how does it work there in terms of soil, water and air, and in the interaction with plants and animals?”
Nature reserve Meinweg near Roermond. Photo: Getty Images
‘Knowledge needed to make nature healthy again’
This should clarify the underlying causes of the poor state of nature. For example, is it on a channeled stream? Or is nature deteriorating because too much water is being extracted? “This system knowledge is necessary to know which buttons can be turned to restore nature to health,” the authority writes.
For a number of “bottlenecks in the areas” we already have a good idea of the underlying causes. The authority therefore recommends that measures be taken quickly. “In this way, the provinces can prevent nature from deteriorating further and it will become more difficult to achieve the nature objectives in the future.”
What is the Ecological Authority?
Minister Christianne van der Wal (Nature and Nitrogen) has set up the Ecological Authority. It must see whether decisions about protected nature are taken properly. The Ecological Authority is independent. It contains people with a great deal of knowledge of nature. Think of scientists and nature managers. Minister Van der Wal thinks it is important that the body is independent, because farmers, for example, doubt whether government calculations are correct.
Ultimately, all provinces must make nature target analyzes before 1 July for Natura 2000 areas that are sensitive to nitrogen. That makes a total of 130. Fifty of them have already been completed.
The Ecological Authority then also assesses those analyses. This is done by independent experts, such as experts and people who have experience with nature management. Chairman Hans Mommaas does not expect the authority to have assessed all analyzes before 1 July.