It’s not easy to develop additional natural areas in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, we have agreed that by 2027 we want to realize 80.000 hectares of extra nature. This is stated in the Nature Pact between the 12 provinces and the central government. So many hectares of new nature will not be realized overnight and this endeavor is, therefore, quite a challenge.
Creating more nature is not only important for biodiversity restoration but is also one of the best strategies to achieve the objectives set in the Paris agreement. After all, trees and plants absorb CO2 from the atmosphere in order to grow. Nature also provides the solution for mitigating and adapting to weather extremes, i.e. through water buffering and cooling.
Here lies a great opportunity to develop nature on agricultural land. A quarter of Dutch farmers voice their desire to stop in the coming years in absence of a successor. But how to transform a plot of agricultural land with an average value of €60.000 into nature with virtually no economic value? By combining functions. What if you allow one or multiple Tiny Houses on your land? These sustainable homes grow in popularity and can be easily rented or sold. Tiny Houses are inextricably linked to a green environment, creating a business model for realizing the surrounding nature. Following this line of thought, Nature^Squared, Staatsbosbeheer en IMI have joined forces. On behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, we have set up the New Forest and Tiny Houses Test Lab. We recently started exploring opportunities for various provinces and municipalities.
Perhaps you work at a municipality or province and are triggered by this message. Or this message raises a lot of questions, e.g. about legal issues. In both cases, we would like to invite you for the information meeting on 24 June (09:30 – 12:30) at the provincial government office in Overrijsel. You can register by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.