Expenditure on nature and landscape management

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Expenditure on nature and landscape management as a percentage of GDP fell from 0.17 percent in 2000 to 0.14 percent in 2015. Expenditure on the acquisition of land areas for nature preservation was lower in particular.

Expenditure on nature and landscape conservation
 Expenditure on nature and landscape conservation (% of GDP)

Expenses for nature and landscape management include the costs of acquiring, structuring and managing nature areas, as well as spending on safeguarding of natural values.

The issue

In Dutch policieson nature preservation, an important guideline for the protection of nature areas is the ‘Natuurnetwerk Nederland’ (NNN), which includes the Natura 2000 areas, for the protection of natural areas. An important part of the expenditure for nature and landscape consists of land acquisition and the management of nature reserves. Land acquisition is often done within the framework of the ‘Natuurnetwerk Nederland’. This is a network of existing and new nature reserves that was introduced in 1990 in the Nature Policy Plan of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. Since 2013, provinces together with civil society organisations have been responsible for realising this network. Before the year 2027, the provinces aim to realise at least 80 thousand hectares of new nature in order to strengthen the nature network. In 2011, provinces had to acquire 40 thousand hectares of agricultural land to achieve this goal. Aside from acquisition and structuring, there are expenses on labour and housing. These are required for the functioning of an organisation or for task implementation.


Total expenditure on nature and landscape management increased by 22 percent between 2000 and 2015. As GDP increased more rapidly, the share of this expenditure in GDP decreased. Expenditure on the management and maintenance of nature areas increased by 60 percent while spending on purchases of new nature reserves fell by 70 percent. The provinces in particular acquired many land areas prior to 2011. Approximately 60 percent of nature and landscape expenditure is incurred by government organisations such as the provinces and Staatsbosbeheer. The remainder of the expenditure comes from private institutions, including the provincial landscape organisations. To a great extent, the activities of private nature conservation organisations are made possible by contributions from households. In 2015, this involved 180 million euros. This amount includes contributions, gifts, legacies and contributions from lotteries.