Science - September 19, 2011

Ministry slashes nature budget

The ministry of EL&I will be saving 600m euros over the next year. Half this amount will come from cuts to the Ecological Main Structure (EHS).

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Readjustments to nature policy and decentralization are set to save the ministry 300, euros per year, says a report on the Agrarisch Dagblad. This is included in the budget to be presented on Princes Day.

At the same time state secretary Henk Bleker plans to adjust the Natural 2000 policy, he has stated in a letter to the lower house of parliament. For the present he wants to focus nature policy on the conservation of threatened natural landscapes, but no longer on improving or expanding them. The aim is that nature policy should not stand in the way of economic development as much as it has done. Bleker also wants to scrap 190 protected sites designated as natural heritage. Bleker has already started consultations with the provinces on the implementation of this nature policy. There is little momentum to the consultations so far.

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