The nature-policy of the ministry of Economic Affairs ("natuurvisie" en "natuurambitie") describes the ambition of the ministry for the development of nature along large surface waters in the Netherlands. This is the area where the coming years various realisation programs will be launched (Hoogwaterbeschermingsprogramma, Deltaprogramma). These realisation programs pose a chance to combine the ambitions for nature with the aim of realisation projects (e.g. strengthening of dykes), provided the natuurambitie is well embedded within the scope of the realisation projects at the an early stage (exploratory phase of the project).
The goal of the natuurambitie is to create robust nature. To accomplish this, cooperation between the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Department of Waterways and Public Works, water authorities and provinces is essential. In general all parties have a positive view on the realisation of robust nature. However, in some cases conflicts between robust nature and other policy goals (e.g., Habitat Directive and Water Framework Directive) arise, because many realisation projects are located at Natura 200 sites. Practitioners indicate the raising of a dike crest is in some cases deemed simpler than, the more appropriate option (from the perspective of robust nature): a soft foreshore.
The goal of this study is to embed robust nature in management plans and within the scope of the realisation projects at an early stage. To achieve this the required ecosystem conditions to create robust nature have to de defined. Also, the question how these conditions can be combined with goals of the Habitat Directive and the Water Framework Directive, has to be answered.
To achieve this we will analyse examples from practice, together with all parties involved in or affected by realisation projects. In addition a literature study will be performed on the required ecosystem conditions for robust nature. This approach will lead to a manual on how robust nature can be embedded in management plans and within the scope of realisation projects at an early stage.