De Levende Natuur nummer 3 van 2008 (English summary)


Nieuw soortenbeleid


DLN 2008-3

Enhanced species action plans: no longer isolated but thriving. A Dutch approach on active species conservation

Joop, P., T.G.Y. van den Broek, J.P. Cronau & T.J. Verstrael

Since the late nineteeneighties in The Netherlands species action plans (SAP's) for some of the most endangered species have been made. Although the governmental financing is modest, the combination of parties involved and the national nature conservation organisations has resulted in various successful plans. Nevertheless, biodiversity is still declining. In the new approach the management of species conservation will be translocated to the regional governments. on The new way of the implementation of national species conservation will be based on three tracks: by hooking up to spatial planning (to get a ‘guaranteed nature inclusive spatial planning’), to the management of nature reserves and special protected areas (f.i. Nature 2000) and by continuing new SAP’s. As a result this three-track approach will focus more on areas with a large number of endangered species, seeking effective measures to conserve them all in a sustainable way. By practising species conservation in the open and joining in with all spatial initiatives this kind of conservation will be appealing to policymakers, developers, nature organisations and neighbours.

Active wildlife conservation in The Netherlands

Wiersinga, W.A., H.J.R. Lenders & J.B.M. Thissen

The long national Red Lists do show why The Netherlands should have an active wildlife conservation policy. In order to restore threatened animal species several factors and organisational levels should be taken into account. Their habitat has to be improved in a four phase strategy: safe guard, improve, connect and enlarge. The first generation of 23 species action plans over the last two decades did use already the ecosystem approach. Most of the plans have a broad ecological approach, using several of these ecological principles. It is difficult to prove conclusively that these plans have been effective, but the positive trend of most target species, however excluding the insects, does give some indication. In combination with the ecosystem approach, single species action plans will still be a necessary and feasible approach.

Dutch species policies and the site manager: from worries to opportunities

Haan, B. de & W. van Steenis

The Dutch Government is changing its species policy to a policy focused on larger areas for more species. The experience of Vereniging Natuurmonumenten with the former species policy has two sides. On one hand quite some measures are taken, benefitting several threatened species. On the other hand, it is only for a few species and most of the money goes to writing plans instead of helping species.So we are glad with the new policy. However, for the species it is necessary that the government does not just wait until other parties submit species recovery plans. The government will have to take the lead in bringing stakeholders together, making plans together and make them reality.

Species conservation policy in Flanders

Bruyn, L. de

About one third of Flanders’ Biodiversity has disappeared or is in danger. To stop this biodiversity loss species protection plans are drawn up. At present, 12 species protection plans are formulated (28 species). Management actions in the field are carried out for 13 taxa. These plans and actions are briefly discussed. A general conclusion is that the species choice, methodology and implementation of species conservation plans lack structure and are on an ad hoc basis.

Marshland Birds Conservation Plan: a first step to a new approach

Bruijn, B. de & R.F.J. van Beusekom

The Marshland Birds Conservation Plan 2000-2004 was the first national species action plan to take into account more than one species. Thirteen marshland birds, representing all stages of seral succession, where selected. Actions, results and lessons learned are discussed. The broader approach enabled a wide range of research, projects and advocacy, benefiting the target species as well as other species groups. Thus the Conservation Plan acted as a first step towards the 'landscape approach', new policy in which the perspective shifts from species to system. Amongst the lessons learned are:

combine research, advocacy, communication and habitat restoration;
base conservation work on a vision on required scale, natural dynamics and connectivity of habitats;
a clear commitment of involved governmental institutions at decision-making level is necessary;
targets and ambitions of environmental, agricultural, spatial planning and water policies should be in line with nature and species policies.

Changing roles in species conservation policy: regional tailor-made jobs

Beenen, R., J.A. van der Weele, H.I. Iken & J.P. Cronau

Dutch provinces have made efforts to improve habitat quality for endangered species since a long time. Some examples of their activities are given, partly based on species action plans. The new approach in which conservation actions for different endangered species in a certain area are combined, will be policy in the next years. Three provincial case studies clarify the opportunities that rise from this new approach. It is concluded that provinces have shown their expertise in parts of the new approach.

Perspectives for the threatened Dutch flora?

Many plant species are threatened in The Netherlands. An active management to prevent extinction from The Netherlands is needed. Until now the governments’ approach was not very successful. We hope that the new policy, e.g. to improve the environmental conditions for many species in the same ecosystems, will be able to ensure the presence of many rare species. It will not be possible for all species: for several species the niche has completely disappeared from The Netherlands, e.g. species from fertile soils around farms or species form arable land. However, for other species we may expect that they will be able to survive, due to this new policy, and even more because of the reduction of the nitrogen deposition in The Netherlands and the intention to improve the water management around the nature reserves.

New approach for effective species conservation: promising or misleading?

Verstrael, T.J., T.G.Y van den Broek, J.P. Cronau, R. van Westrienen, W.A. Wiersinga & H.L. Schimmel- ten Kate

The new species conservation policy is welcomed by many parties because of its high ambitions, integrated approach and perspectives of sharing responsibilities. Many aspects of the new policy remain unclear as many articles in this special issue clearly point out. These uncertainties regard the role of traditional and new partners in the realisation of conservation projects, the budgets that will become available as well as the gaps in the knowledge to conserve threatened species. Yet optimism on the success of the new policy dominates. The experiences in several provinces with area-based species conservation projects, the lessons learned from successful species action plans and the overall slight improvement of environmental quality offer a firm basis to build on. The big challenge will be to define projects in which conservation measures are proposed on the right spatial scale that will enhance the sustainable development of populations of different threatened species within a habitat.