Implementation of the forest expansion policy in the Netherlands in the period 1986-2007: Decline in success?

P. Van Gossum, B.J.M. Arts, J.N. van Laar, K. Verheyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The current study explains why Dutch forest expansion policy is at risk of failure. To study the forest expansion implementation process we have chosen to further operationalize Matland's policy type implementation model to an extended and comprehensive typology of relevant implementation characteristics. In addition, a case study methodology with mixed-method design was used to collect and analyze the data. The Dutch forest expansion policy is currently an example of symbolic implementation. The symbolic implementation is a consequence of the absence of central guidance, the legislative complexity, the low policy stability, the lack of supporting conditions for policy innovation, the lack of regulatory responsiveness and the latent policy at state level and in many provinces. Nevertheless, the transferable development rights method of the province of Limburg is a promising innovation and forest expansion still happens, which is mainly the result of a good internal and external communication, an effective actor network of forest expansion advocates and the willingness to realize negotiated project aims that lead to a win–win situation for all actors involved. Nonetheless, it is expected that the forest expansion targets will be not reached, unless most of the above shortcomings are solved
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1171-1180
JournalLand Use Policy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • incentives
  • land

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