Nieuws - 21 april 2011


'It is important for all Dutch citizens to be able to live in a healthy and varied environment', wrote 79 professors last week in an open letter to the cabinet venting their deep concern about the government's nature policy.

A little further down we read that the quality of Dutch nature areas is coming under extreme pressure due to population growth and industry, with pollution and intensification of agriculture as the main causes. In view of these alarming developments one might expect increased efforts in the area of nature management and nature development. It is a familiar story and you might think appropriate measures would go without saying.
Go without saying indeed. I checked the constitution. The constitution that every Dutch citizen should be familiar with. At least the members of our cabinet. The quality of our environment gets a whole article to itself. Article 21: 'The government's concern is focused on the liveability of the country and with conserving and improving the environment we live in'.
The cabinet may well push the letter from the worried professors to one side, but surely the words of the constitution - no more than 1500 of them all told - cannot just be ignored? Where is the CDA now with its wardenship ideas? Of the 500 million euros spent on nature, 300 million are to be cut. What in heaven's name would it take to make clear to the cabinet that they are the ones who are supposed to be improving the environment we live in?