European nature in the plural : finding common ground for a next policy agenda

Henk van Zeijts, Anne Gerdien Prins, Ed Dammers, Marijke Vonk, Irene Bouwma, Hans Farjon, Rogier Pouwels, Arthur Beusen, Mirjam Hartman, Marjon Hendriks, Arjen van Hinsberg, Jan Janse, Onno Knol, Marcel Kok, Kathrin Ludwig, Katalin Petz, Peter van Puijenbroek, Ineke Smorenburg, Alexandra Tisma, Sandy van TolClara Veerkamp, Jaap Wiertz, Jan Clement, Alwin Gerritsen, Bart de Knegt, Bas Pedroli, Mart-Jan Schelhaas, Theo van der Sluis, Nynke Schulp, Bernie Fleming

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional


European landscapes contain a rich natural diversity that is cherished by many citizens. Protection of this diversity is laid down in policy strategies on European and national levels. Nevertheless, a recent review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy showed that additional efforts are needed to achieve the targets for 2020. Even more effort is required to realise the 2050 vision – which is to protect, value and restore EU biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides. People consider ‘nature’ to constitute landscapes, ecosystems and biodiversity. Recent reviews and trend analyses have shown there to be three overall challenges for the coming decades, with respect to nature conservation: ensuring sufficient space and favourable conditions for nature, improving nature considerations in economic sectors, and encouraging people’s engagement in naturerelated efforts. For this study, we explored four ‘perspectives’ on nature in 2050, with the aim to inform a future agenda for nature policies beyond 2020. The rationale behind working with perspectives is that broadening the concept of nature may lead to greater citizen and business engagement in efforts that would benefit nature. The perspectives on nature cover a range of guiding values about nature protection and describe what people perceive to be nature: In Strengthening Cultural Identity, people feel connected with nature and landscape, and consider this an integral part of their local and regional communities and essential to a fulfilling life. In Allowing Nature to Find its Way, people feel strongly about the great intrinsic value of natural processes and species, and they define nature by its dynamic processes and believe it should be left to its own devices. In Going with the Economic Flow, nature must suit people’s lifestyles, and businesses and individual citizens take the initiative in nature development. In Working with Nature, people try to work with natural processes and strive for an optimal, long-term delivery of ecosystem services, for the benefit of both society and the economy.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationThe Hague
PublisherPBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
Number of pages118
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NamePBL Publication


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