The diversity of animal and plant species is rapidly declining in Dutch nature. Where once bees, butterflies and other insects were heard buzzing, it is now quiet. Rare birds such as the curl and the great crested grebe also have a hard time. Worldwide, more than 1 million plant and animal species are threatened with extinction, while we are hugely dependent on our nature and ecosystems. A healthy, diverse nature is necessary for humans. Without insects such as bees and butterflies, there is no pollination between the plants. And that means: no food for us. A variety of animal and plant species are therefore not only valuable in themselves, but also form the basis of our life on earth. Nature also supplies food and raw materials for products. And nature is also good for our mental health. Under clear blue skies we enjoy a nice walk galore. Nature reduces stress and is good for children’s development.
Nature has been neglected for years. Highways, airports and intensive livestock farming were given ample space for economies of scale, which increased environmental pollution. To reverse the trend, we need to reduce the pressure on nature. We reduce emissions of nitrogen and other harmful substances by making agriculture, transport and industry throughout Europe more sustainable. In addition, binding targets are needed to restore and better protect nature. In this way, we create a network of protected Natura 2000 sites. We work on sustainable forest management, fight illegal logging and improve water quality. We also prevent microplasticschemical waste and drug residues end up in our water.