In January 1916, the Zuiderzee coast was flooded by a heavy storm tide, leading to the decision to close this body of water by constructing the Afsluitdijk. The disastrous flood of 1953 led to the implementation of the Delta Works, while the floods in the winters of 1993 and 1995 prompted the development of the Delta Plan for the Big Rivers. Disasters and near-disasters work like a catalyst for radical actions.
Two weeks ago, Kees Bastmeijer, a lawyer specialized in nature, pointed out during the Victor Westhoff lecture in Nijmegen that it is time to move away from all these detailed discussions about the integration of different laws, fine-tuning of species listings and re-assignment of authorities. I agree wholeheartedly with Bastmeijer on this matter; we are in dire need of a Delta Plan for Nature. The advice from the Council for the Environment and Infrastructure - which I have referred to earlier - has been carefully thought out and sends us in the right direction. This report also takes an ambitious stand; however, the fire still needs a lot of stoking.