Wat is Natuur nog, in Nederland?

Translated title of the thesis: Nature in the Netherlands
  • Kristel Asma
  • Daan Baart
  • Hans Bolsius
  • Remko Roelofs

Student thesis: Bachelor's Thesis


This report describes in which ways the protected nature areas in the Netherlands contribute to the biodiversity goals. Whether the Netherlands fully complies with the international agreements on the minimum size of protected areas (Aichi target 11) is debatable, especially for its qualitative component. Using GIS maps and calculations, this report shows that there are more than 2.4 million hectares of protected nature in the Netherlands. Three quarters of this is water, while one third of the protected nature on land has multiple uses, mainly agricultural use.Furthermore, an international classification of protected nature areas, the IUCN categories, was examined. This classification ranges from “strict” reserves and national parks to “less strict” areas. It was found that there is some effect of a “stricter” category on, in particular, less “human pressure” on nature, the Human Footprint (HFP). Assuming that this HFP adversely affects biodiversity, this would mean a positive effect of “stricter” categories. It was found that there is a high HFP in the protected areas in the Netherlands and there is little protected nature without high HFP. Finally, this report shows that the main pressures on biodiversity in protected nature areas are loss of habitat and fragmentation, together with eutrophication, acidification and desiccation. The management measures are mainly aimed at reducing the effects of these pressure. Efforts to enlarge and connect habitats appear insufficient. Steps taken to reduce the effects of eutrophication, acidification and desiccation have only limited effect, are not sustainable and can also be counterproductive.
Date of Award8 Feb 2021
Original languageDutch
SupervisorRaoul Beunen (Supervisor), Angelique Lansu (Examiner) & Patrick Jansen (Co-assessor)


  • Biodiversity
  • targets
  • nature policy
  • National Parks
  • IUCN
  • Protected Area
  • Nature Reserve
  • National Ecological Network
  • nature conservation
  • Natura 2000

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