'Dijksma puts brakes on sale of nature,' ran a headline in Dutch newspaper Trouw last week.
The authorization to call a halt to the sale of nature areas was given by state secretary Sharon Dijksma during a debate in the lower house of parliament. The first sale of land outside the Ecological Main Structure will be evaluated, and conclusions will be drawn. I hope Dijksma will draw the only right conclusion. Because how do you come up with the idea of selling off nature areas? How irresponsible can you get? First you buy expensive, good farmland, then you invest massively in a deliberate policy of impoverishing the soils. And then you sell off the same plots, now reduced to cheap, poor farmland. Dijksma indicated during the debate that the ministry could handle the financial consequences.
With a group of students and an equally large group of supervisors I am now working on a book about the tensions between economics and nature. The working title of the book is Special offer on Nature, inspired by the nature-is-a-nuisance policy of the previous state secretary, Bleker. If Dijksma changes course, we'll change the title of the book.