Projects per year
This report contains a critical reflection on the assumptions in Dutch nature policy about the relation between social engagement with nature and the legitimacy of nature policy. On the basis of a literature study we reconstructed ten assumptions about social engagement and tested them against findings from the academic literature. In general, we can conclude that experiences in nature do indeed create a connection with nature and can be a reason for people to become actively engaged in nature conservation. The democratic and ethical importance of engagement is widely acknowledged. The influence of such connection and engagement on social legitimacy and its eventual impact on nature conservation is less clear and depends heavily on the social, administrative and political dynamic within which this engagement takes shape and on the chosen vision of democracy and styles of governance. Further research is needed into the influence of this social, administrative and political context on the success of social engagement.