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Article

Habitat Banking and Its Challenges in a Densely Populated Country: The Case of The Netherlands

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Institute for Water and Wetland Research (IWWR), Radboud University Nijmegen, Heijendaalseweg 135, 6525 AJ Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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Wageningen Economic Research, Prinses Beatrixlaan 582–528, 2595 BM The Hague, The Netherlands
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Department Plant Ecology and Nature Conservation, Wageningen University, Droevendaalsesteeg 4, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(9), 3756; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093756
Received: 28 December 2019 / Revised: 12 February 2020 / Accepted: 1 May 2020 / Published: 6 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Socio-Ecological Interactions and Sustainable Development)
Due to a growing population, urbanization, industrialization and agriculture, the quality of nature and biodiversity globally has decreased enormously. This also applies to The Netherlands. Habitat banking is a market-based instrument for nature conservation and sustainable development to counteract this decrease. We analyze under which conditions habitat banking can indeed offer possibilities and opportunities for improving biodiversity, nature conservation and sustainable development in The Netherlands. For this, we first identify the shortcomings of mandatory nature compensation in The Netherlands and link them to current innovations in Dutch nature policy. In addition, we investigate three necessary instruments for a successful habitat banking system: (1) a system for nature valuation, (2) a method for creating ecological opportunity maps, and (3) the institutional setting in which habitat banking can be operationalized. We conclude that habitat banking contributes to solving the problems for nature and biodiversity and to sustainable development in The Netherlands, provided that this is primarily addressed (i) in the domain of voluntary nature compensation, (ii) in bottom-up pilots for integrated area development (in this article shortly referred to as area pilots) where the widest possible range of owners and users of these areas is involved, (iii) in a context of participatory decision-making and (iv) learning and experiment en route to social-ecological systems (SESs). To actually realize the added value of habitat banking for The Netherlands, further scientific research is required to collect and analyze empirical data from relevant stakeholders. View Full-Text
Keywords: nature compensation; habitat banking; voluntary compensation; socialization of nature; sustainable development; integral area development; socio-ecological learning; evolving human–nature relationships nature compensation; habitat banking; voluntary compensation; socialization of nature; sustainable development; integral area development; socio-ecological learning; evolving human–nature relationships
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gorissen, M.M.J.; van der Heide, C.M.; Schaminée, J.H.J. Habitat Banking and Its Challenges in a Densely Populated Country: The Case of The Netherlands. Sustainability 2020, 12, 3756. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093756

AMA Style

Gorissen MMJ, van der Heide CM, Schaminée JHJ. Habitat Banking and Its Challenges in a Densely Populated Country: The Case of The Netherlands. Sustainability. 2020; 12(9):3756. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093756

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gorissen, Mechtilde M.J., C. M. van der Heide, and Johannes H.J. Schaminée 2020. "Habitat Banking and Its Challenges in a Densely Populated Country: The Case of The Netherlands" Sustainability 12, no. 9: 3756. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093756

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