News item | 25-11-2022 | 16:15
A rich and resilient nature, robust water system, vital nature and space for sustainable and strong agriculture. This is what the government is aiming for with the National Rural Development Program (NPLG). To achieve this, a major change is needed. Minister Van der Wal for Nature and Nitrogen is working together with Minister Harbers for Infrastructure and Water Management and Minister De Jonge for Housing and Spatial Planning on the NPLG, a program where the goals to be achieved in the areas of nature, nitrogen, water, soil and climate are dealt with jointly and coherently.
Transition via an area-oriented approach
We also want to live, work and produce food in a beautiful and livable country in the future. It requires us to handle space and nature better and with the organization of our country. The knowledge that has helped us adapt the landscape for years now helps us to ensure a safe and healthy life in the Netherlands with a changing climate.
In this restructuring of rural areas, short-term and long-term choices must be made. Choices that are sometimes difficult, but necessary to live in a healthy, safe and viable country in the future. We all benefit from that in the end. Governments work together with entrepreneurs, social organizations and residents for a future-proof Netherlands. This is managed by the provinces.
Get started together
In this next step in the area-oriented approach, the government works together with the other authorities and parties in the area processes to find out how best to achieve the various tasks and national goals in an area. It is tailored, because there are big differences between the areas. What is needed, where and what offers the best solutions, taking into account the people who live and work there? Together with water boards, municipalities, sectors, entrepreneurs and citizens, the provinces decide which initiatives and resources are needed to achieve the goals. Each of these parties has its own responsibility, knowledge and expertise. In this process, a development document is used to allow the provinces to further shape the area-oriented approach with the support of the national government.
The agricultural sector is indispensable
The agricultural sector is indispensable in this approach, from its role as a sustainable food producer, manager of (agricultural) natural and landscape elements and from a socio-cultural perspective. It is important that there is and remains usable agricultural land for the agricultural sector.
The preparation of the NPLG is closely related to the letter from the Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality about the future of agriculture and the agricultural settlement, to the government’s response to the State Council’s ruling on the building exemption, and to the letter. Water and land management from the Minister for Infrastructure and Water Management. In its response to the building exemption order, the government describes an approach to achieving a significant reduction in nitrogen deposition in the short term in order to restore nature, legalize PAS detectors and again enable economic development and ensure a simpler and more robust way of granting permits under the Nature Protection Act .
Regional deepening of the goals and planning of the area processes
On 9 December 2022, the Ministry of the Interior and the Kingdom will send the so-called NOVEX starter packages on the spatial challenges to the provinces, so that they can put together the spatial puzzle where different challenges come together. NPLG is part of it.
The indicative regional translation of several national targets for nature (specification of area and improvement targets for the birds and habitat directives) and climate (reduction targets for agricultural greenhouse gases) from the NPLG will be determined in the regional processes with local authorities and will be published at the beginning of 2023.
The government has set aside 24.3 billion euros in the Rural and Natural Transformation Fund for the area-based approach.
By 1 July 2023 at the latest, the provinces will present a first verifiable version of the area programme, where it is important that a number of main elections are drawn up for the entire rural district. But not everything can and must not be completely finished on 1 July. The area courses are developed jointly over a longer period with a focus on reflection, input of new knowledge and learning from each other.