The prospect that nature and environment will lose out under the new cabinet has caused Wageningen students to put up a protest and to rally for support. 'The sense of urgency is high.'
What message do you want to give?
'Firstly, we want to express our concern about the future of nature and environment in the Netherlands. Next, we feel that everyone committed to nature and the environment has to join forces to send a strong signal to politicians in The Hague that there is a need for a green and clean Netherlands.'
An opinion piece, does that work?
'We want to use this opinion piece to indicate that not everyone accepts the political choices made by the cabinet unquestioningly. Moreover, we want to inspire others to take action. We are afraid that people will just sit back and do nothing. This letter is used to spark off more undertakings. Whether we are able to influence government policy directly is yet to be seen, naturally.'
Do you work with other groups?
'Not yet. We are laying down our strategy. We will naturally reach out to Wageningen students first, but it's also possible that we will operate more extensively. I don't think that we will coordinate a nationwide activity, but we want to call on sustainability groups in other universities to join us.'
You talked about a sense of urgency. What are you planning to do?
'We don't have any concrete plans yet, but it can range from a poster protest to an event or demonstration. We have a core group of seven people, and it also depends on how many supporters we will get.'
More information about the Wageningen Environment Platform can be found on www.wep-site.org/ .