From September until December 2012 Bas van den Dries did his internship at the province of Gelderland. 4 months in which both learning and enjoying the working environment were combined. This is his experience.
My choice for the province was conscious since decentralisation agreements with the national government brought many new nature tasks to the provincial level. With all these new tasks related to my study, it seemed interesting to work at the province. Since provinces recently have become such a central player for nature conservation in the Netherlands it quickly broadened my network which made the internship ideal and a great opportunity. Besides the new tasks of the province the organisation also consists of two layers, public administration where I worked and politics. Discovering the interaction between these fields made the organisation always challenging. Commotion about shooting deer on a wildlife passage, the new government coalition agreement and its effects for the province and discussions on declarations of a former representative of Gelderland were all present during my time there.
I worked specifically on the question ‘How to achieve more of the international nature goals in the province of Gelderland?’. With these goals the Birds and Habitat directives are meant. This is currently a relevant topic because provinces are since 2012 responsible for a contribution to reach these goals. My research combined both ecological and policy aspects of these international nature goals. First I looked at the specific species and habitats of these directives present in the Gelderland. Secondly after giving this overview I conducted interviews with nature conservation partners of the province to not only verify these answers but also ask their opinion on the role of the province and their own organisation for reaching the goals of the Birds and Habitat directives.
During this research I used practically all my skills learned in my study. Ecological skills, policy making, Nature management, Nature and environmental laws and public administration. All of this different aspects are found in the province which made it for me a great learning experience and something to recommend to other students.
Bas van den Dries