Policy on nature and biodiversity

Nature policy aims to preserve and strengthen the Netherlands' natural environment. It also encompasses the national and international preservation and sustainable exploitation of biodiversity.

Conserving and strengthening Dutch nature

The government’s aim is to conserve and strengthen the natural environment in the Netherlands. Dutch nature areas are protected by several national and international laws and rules. The National Ecological Network (NEN) and Natura 2000 are designed to protect nature areas, and to consolidate them by linking them more effectively with each other and with surrounding farmland.

Agri-environment schemes

The Netherlands has a lot of farmland which, like protected areas, have significant natural and landscape value. The provincial authorities are keen to preserve and develop these values. Farmers who adopt nature-friendly management practices on their land can apply for remuneration under the SNL grant scheme.

Management and sustainable exploitation of the natural environment in the Caribbean Netherlands

The government wants to see good management and sustainable exploitation of the natural environment in the Caribbean Netherlands. This is set out in the Nature Policy Plan for the Caribbean Netherlands 2013-2017.

Conservation of major aquatic ecosystems

The Netherlands has several major aquatic ecosystems: the Waddenzee, the Southwestern Delta region, the IJsselmeer region, the North Sea, the coast and the major rivers. The government wants to safeguard the future of these aquatic ecosystems. It has published an exploratory policy paper, with others, setting out a long-term vision on aquatic conservation with a view to  2050-2100.

International conservation and sustainable exploitation of biodiversity

The government supports the conservation and sustainable exploitation of biodiversity at both national and international level. It has set out its plans in the Natural Capital Implementation Agenda. The plans are in line with international biodiversity agreements such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the European Birds Directive and Habitats Directive.

Green growth: people, planet, profit

The government is keen to reduce our environmental burden and our dependence on fossil fuels, while at the same time making the Netherlands more competitive.

International protection of endangered species

International agreements on curbing trade in endangered plant and animal species are laid down in CITES. The Netherlands is a signatory to this convention.

Responsibility for policy on the natural environment

Central government is responsible for setting the framework for and defining the goals of nature policy. The provincial authorities are responsible for filling in the details and implementing the policy. This arrangement has been formalised in a special agreement.