Concept plan for the rural area ready

Concept plan for the rural area ready
Concept plan for the rural area ready

Goals further elaborated

The amount of space required for each area has been worked out to achieve the various goals. By combining measures for, for example, agricultural nature management and water, the same place can serve multiple purposes. Zoet: “For example, we are going to create wet hay meadows along streams. This way we kill 2 birds with 1 stone and in some places maybe even 5.”

Nitrogen reduction in agriculture

Gelderland must reduce nitrogen emissions by 7.5 kilotons. Therefore, farmers should be given a menu of schemes for future development. They can reduce their emissions by using new techniques, expanding their business with other activities such as a care farm, or extensifying. Expanding means keeping fewer animals on the same land. Or they can move their company to a place with less nitrogen-sensitive nature nearby. An estimated 30% of farmers in Gelderland will stop farming in the coming years. Because there is no successor, or because they participate in a termination scheme.

Consequences for the countryside and farmers

The rural area will change due to all measures. This should not be at the expense of quality of life. To get an idea of ​​the consequences, the province commissioned external research into the effect of the measures. The predictions are positive. There is a major challenge for farmers to focus on sustainability. The province is working hard on this together with the agricultural sector. Zoet: “We desperately need farmers for our landscape, the economy in rural areas and our food security.” The province is therefore also conducting research into whether food security remains up to standard with the VLGG measures and other current developments in the world.

Clarity needed from the government

In July last year, Gelderland sent the first draft of the VLGG program to the minister and asked for sufficient money and clarity for agriculture. Gelderland has now further developed the plans, but there is no clarity from the government yet. The minister did issue a profit warning about the required €10 billion. Gelderland will therefore be developing the draft program in the near future, with various scenarios based on the contribution from the government. Gelderland then wants to present the plans to residents. “If there is less money, the final elaboration of the VLGG will look different.” Zoet is very clear about this. “Without sufficient money, we have to prioritize and possibly adjust goals.”

Gelderland is requesting €140 million in accelerators

With the draft VLGG design, Gelderland also sends the improved and supplemented application for the accelerators to the minister. In July 2023, Gelderland submitted a package of measures worth €42 million. To improve forests and biodiversity in rural areas. For example, by creating landscape elements such as hedges and ponds (green-blue veining). In addition, Gelderland wants to start or further implement area processes in 16 areas (where a lot needs to be done).

To work

More is now known about the period in which the money must be spent and more implementation projects can start this year than seemed like last July. In addition to the previously announced measures, Gelderland also wants to start various water projects this year, such as the construction of dams. The province also wants to launch a scheme for nature-inclusive agriculture. “The measures for the Water Framework Directive cannot wait, because we must have achieved the goals by 2027.” Zoet explains. That is why Gelderland is now submitting (in the improved application) €140 million worth of measures to the ministry.

Projects with the previous accelerators

This is the 2nd round of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality to distribute money for accelerated measures of the National Rural Area Program. In the previous round, Gelderland received €240 million. This money is used for all kinds of nature improvement projects. For example, 80 hectares of nature at ‘De Bloemkampen’ nature reserve have been watered, water holes have been restored and there has been an improvement in meadow bird management in various places.

The article is in Dutch


Tags: Concept plan rural area ready


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