Nature conservation & restoration policies: Assessing the implementation of the Dutch National Ecological Network

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To address the current climate crisis, nature conservation and restoration stands out as a key tool that allows for climate mitigation and adaptation. However, both nature conservation and restoration policies are subject to an implementation gap. This deficit was explored taking the implementation of the Dutch National Ecological Network as an example and carrying out an assessment of its implementation process. Departing from georeferenced data and implementation theory, a survival model provided an overview of the implementation process. Next to this, through binary regression analysis the influence of different factors pertaining to the policy context and content were identified. A slowing pace in the implementation of the ecological network has been found. Remarkably, a higher number of plans to acquire and restore areas does not lead to an increased implementation rate, indicating the existence of an implementation gap. Similarly, isolated, or small areas and those with economic value tend to be less likely to be acquired or restored. Contrary to this, some variables have shown a positive effect. In this regard, the congruence of interest by other actors such as a water management bodies, and nature conservation groups lead to a higher odd of areas being acquired and restored.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen