Natural resources

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For long-term economic stability, it is important that a balance exists between the economic pressure on natural resource supplies on the one hand and the ability of these resources to recover on the other. The indicators under this theme describe total supplies of renewable resources (e.g. wood, water and biodiversity) and non-renewable resources (such as fossil energy carriers), in both quantitative and qualitative terms.

Natural gas is economically the most important non-renewable resource in the Netherlands. Natural gas reserves decline every year due to extraction. The pace of decline has slowed in recent years as the production ceiling was lowered following earthquake problems in Groningen.

With the size of the built-up area in the Netherlands still expanding, there is continuously growing pressure on ecosystems and biodiversity. However, stocks of renewable resources such as forests (standing timber) and fish are replenishing. Standing timber stocks have increased by both forest expansion and increase in estimated wood stock per hectare. The quality of marine ecosystems is measured in terms of the size of fish stocks. Many fish stocks in the North Sea are restored due to catch limits set by the European Union.