World Wetlands Day 2008 -- The Netherlands
WWD 2008: The Netherlands
On WWD 2008, Vogelbescherming Nederland (1) organised a seminar to inform IBA-caretakers about the possibilities to participate in management plans for IBAs. In the Netherlands, all Important Bird Areas (IBAs) have the status of protected area ("Natura 2000-areas") according to the Bird- and Habitat Directive, and therefore management plans have to be realised within the next few years. The IBA-caretakers and Vogelbescherming Nederland would like to act pro-actively towards Natura 2000. Getting involved in the process of realisation of these management plans could give IBA-caretakers the opportunity to play an active part in this process. In total about 50 IBA-caretakers joined the seminar.
The seminar consisted of three presentations and a workshop. The presentations were held by the Province of Gelderland, Vereniging Natuurmonumenten (an NGO and the largest nature conservation organisation of the Netherlands) and an independent research and consultancy agency.
In the Netherlands, provinces like the Province of Gelderland are responsible for realising the management plans for Natura 2000-areas. A management plan involves the protection of important species and habitats, and to do so in a sufficient way, you'll need specific information about the whereabouts and numbers of these species and habitats. An important role for the caretakers lies in collecting this information and sharing it with the parties involved in the planning process. By sharing this information, the caretaker shows the other parties the importance of the Nature 2000-area for these species and habitats, which forms a solid base for constructing the management plan. Vereniging Natuurmonumenten and the consultancy agency joined the Province of Gelderland with this statement. All parties recognized the importance of involving IBA-caretakers in the process of constructing management plans.
The workshop was used to exchange experiences of IBA-caretakers with management plans and their part in the process. One important lesson was that there is a huge amount of knowledge within the IBA-caretaker network, but that the exchange of this knowledge is ready for improvement. To make knowledge more accessible, Vogelbescherming Nederland has opened an on-line discussion forum, where caretakers can share their knowledge.
CEPA NGO Focal Point The Netherlands
(1) Vogelbescherming Nederland is Partner of Birdlife International and a member of the Dutch National Ramsar Committee