Advice for nature policy
Governments at various levels (global, European, national, provincial and local) make policy to protect nature. Bridging the science-policy-society interface is one of the key areas of Wageningen Environmental Research expertise. We work continuously with local and national government and at international level with policymakers and practitioners to help them to make more accurate, timely and sustainable decisions. We do this through the application of expertise that ranges from leading edge remote sensing technology, modelling and use of big data, to knowledge-based moderation of stakeholder participation processes.
Our research and expertise - what do we offer?
Internationally, Wageningen Environmental Research is a partner in consortia that manage three of the European Environment Agency Topic Centres: 1) Climate, 2) Urban land use and soil, and 3) Biodiversity and leads an important Framework Service Contract for providing services in the area of natural capital and ecosystem assessment: ‘Spatial analysis and mapping, informing ecosystem-based management’. Furthermore, we lead or are consortium partners for a number of European Commission-funded projects and programmes such as the Biogeographical Process, which involves 28 Member States across all of the European biogeographical regions. In all cases, the knowledge and technical expertise of our research institute provides critically important input to the delivery of a variety of talks that support the EEA in their role as the European Commission policy-making and policy delivery entity.
We support the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Conservation and Food Quality with the international reporting obligations for various international nature conventions (e.g. Bern, Bonn en Ramsar Convention). We furthermore support the Dutch Ministry with European Union’s Birds and Habitats Directive reporting (Art 17 en 12 reports). In addition, we undertake evaluations of EU, national and regional nature policy.
New societal trends may influence nature and we therefore review possible effects of stakeholder involvement and energy, land use and other transitions on nature and its policy.
This knowledge provides added value to governments to improve the quality of their decisions to improve their nature policy. protect nature. Questions we answer are:
- What is the state of nature in our country, municipality or province?
- What is the progress in implementation of our policy, what are success and failures?
- How can the government involve society in the protection of nature?
These and other questions we answer with different types of evaluations (classical and reflective evaluations) communities of practice as well as with field data, expert judgement, model and scenario studies.
Examples of Dutch policy advice and evaluations
- Dutch reporting on international obligations under the Birds and Habitats Directive, IWC, ASCOBANS and the Antarctica treaty
- Periodic Dutch national policy evaluations on the State of Nature and Nature Outlook
Examples of international policy advice and evaluations
- Biogeographical Process The Natura 2000 biogeographical process was launched in 2011 by the European Commission. The objective of the process is to promote knowledge exchange, networking and cooperation on Natura 2000-related issues at biogeographical region level. At the heart of the process lie the Natura 2000 seminars, a Networking Programme consisting of the organisation of workshops, events or meetings relevant to the objective of the process as well as by other related actions. Wageningen Environmental Research support the European Commission in the organisation of the seminars and maintains the Natura2000 Platform.
- Nature Outlook In co-operation with the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, Wageningen Environmental Research developed the Nature Outlook. Based on the multiple visions that people have in relation to nature, four different perspectives on nature in the EU by 2050 where explored and the synergies between them identified. They posed, and explored the question: “Which new approaches could complement current nature policies”?
- ETC/BD: Biodiversity The ETC/BD supports the EEA in the development of policy, indicators and spatial information relating to biodiversity. Wageningen Environmental Research has a role in linking flora, fauna, vegetation and habitat information from both in situ and remote sensing information, it assists in carrying out assessments relating to the Natura 2000 protected area network, modelling species and ecosystems at European level, fragmentation and connectivity and species-environment relationships as well as High Nature Value farming and forestry.