Projects » Project Management & Finance » LIFE: a European impulse for nature conservation

LIFE nature conservation

The ministry of Economic Affairs is responsible for the Dutch policy on nature conservation. This is carried out along with  the ministry of Infrastructure & Environment, the 12 provinces, Staatsbosbeheer, Rijkswaterstaat and other nature- and landscape organizations.

In the ‘wet’ nature areas (Dutch nature consists of 80% water), the Waterschappen are the key partners in carrying out the policy. However, coordinating between the different agencies takes up a lot of time and effort. This occasionally leads to delays, mainly due to conflicting interests in an area where economic, environmental and safety issues all play a part.

LIFE impulse

The ministry of Economic Affairs wants to develop a new policy model in order to streamline this process. To help create this model the ministry has been given financial means from the LIFE programme.

Partners for Innovation assisted the ministry in this project. We facilitated ‘writing sessions’ in which the proposal came broadly into existence. We presented and discussed the progression during a number of meetings with all 23 partners. Also, we’ve written a Concept Note (the first step of proposal submission) and created the final version of the project plan, based on the evaluation conducted by the European Commission.

Nature 2000

An element of the LIFE programma is Nature 2000. It supports a range of projects in the fields of:

  • nature & biodiversity
  • environment & efficient use of resources
  • climate change

The Delta areas

One area that gets special attention are the Delta areas. These areas surrounding the rivers are potentially vulnerable since we built cities, relocated river beds and extracted oil and gas from the soil. Interests of economy, nature and security are continually being weighed.


Another activity that puts nature under threat is overfishing. Fishery has had a serious impact on particular fish species (of which the larger individuals have disappeared). The bottom of sea life has been disrupted in several areas due to the use of nets scraping the surface.

Integrated projects

LIFE distinguishes different types of projects. Integrated projects are aimed at a widespread environmental impact, such as waste and water issues. In this kind of projects more than one government needs to be involved. Commitment and coordination are vital.


Peter Karsch

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