By which rules and regulations is the system organized?

Key words: rules, regulations, public space, education, recreation, nature

Public space. Education. Recreation. Nature 

Duinen van Texel

On 1st of May 2002, Duinen van Texel (4,300 ha) was established as a national park.Each year, five million people visit the island of Texel and the National Park. The island is also a popular destination for school trips. Walking and cycling are popular activities, and there are wheelchair trails for the disabled.


Dutch nature policy


Nature in the Netherlands has experienced considerable losses in the past. High population density caused nature areas to be changed into agriculture, housing, roads and industry. Regarding these factors, in 1969, the Netherlands joined the IUCN, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and pledged to protect important ecosystems, for example by establishing national parks.


Nature policy in the Netherlands aims to preserve nature and to continue the development of nature. These aims are achieved through the protection of species and the protection and development of nature areas. What is more, policymakers treat the national parks as a single unit, referring to it as the system of National Parks in the Netherlands. Furthermore, it is important to establish that protecting individual ecosystems is important, but small isolated natural areas are vulnerable. In the Netherlands, there is a national nature policy plan: 'Nature for people, people for nature'. Therefore, the Samenwerkingsverband Nationale Parken that is cooperation between National Parks in the Netherlands was established in order to organize and increase the collaboration between national parks. Besides, the national parks other parties are involved in the cooperation, such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, the National Forest Service and Natuurmonumenten.


Within the policy it is stated that the national parks were established with four main objectives, which are the protection and development of nature and the landscape, outdoor recreation, and promoting education. For instance, research a good example of how these three objectives are merged together. In fact, research is an important tool for policymakers. What is more, it provides important data that supports the effects of management measures, and information on how animal and plant populations develop, and on the effects of recreation.


For instance, the Natura 2000 network safeguards the survival of specific species and habitats as laid down in the European Birds and Habitats Directives. This network is part of the Pan European Ecological Network (PEEN) of the Council of Europe. It is important to mention that, the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality is bound by international agreements on National Parks to safeguard the functioning of the Dutch system of National Parks as a whole. The Minister grants annual subsidies to the parks to implement their year plans, as based on the ten-year management and development plans. What is more, the Ministry gives one-off support to activities that enrich the quality of the National Parks system.




On an international level, there are important treaties, such as the Ramsar (concerning water-rich regions) and Bonn, as well as directives from the European Union, such as the Habitat Guideline, the Bird Directive and Natura 2000. Establishing National Parks is also an instrument for nature policy. In fact, to encourage cooperation between the Dutch National Parks and other parks in Europe, these 20 parks are members of the European Federation for National Parks, Europarc. Members of the Federation participate in annual meetings and working groups to share experience on nature protection, management and design, sustainable tourism, forms of collaboration, marketing, monitoring, education and training.

(SamenwerkingsverbandNationaleParken, 2014) (Ecomare, 2014)



Worpole, K. &. (2007, 04 23). The Social Value of Public Space . Retrieved 12 5, 2014, from Joseph Rowntree Foundation:

Ecomare. (2014). Dutch Nature policy. Retrieved 12 5, 2014, from Ecomare:

SamenwerkingsverbandNationaleParken. (2014). Dutch Nature Policy. Retrieved 12 5, 2014, from Samenwerkingsverband Nationale Parken:

Pinal Desai , Tatiana Armijos Moya

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