Quality of Dutch nature "under pressure"

Rivm annual review finds policy implementation lagging behind, suggests more resources needed

The number of "natural" areas in the Netherlands is growing, but their ecological quality and biological diversity are under pressure, according to an annual survey published by Dutch environmental research institute Rivm. The institute also found that problems of eutrophication, acidification and soil drying continue to be serious problems.

According to the report, levels of eutrophication and acidification are likely to remain unacceptably high at about half of the Netherlands' natural areas over the next twenty years unless there are further policy changes. Other conclusions are that over one-third of indigenous plant species are endangered, valuable landscapes such as polders are threatened and the development of new green belt areas around cities is stagnating.

On the whole, concludes the assessment, implementation of policy is lagging behind, and new measures as well as more money will be needed to safeguard natural areas.

Follow Up:
Rivm, tel: +31 317 477 761. See also a press release, and the full report Nature Balance 2000.

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