Dutch protected habitats under threat: just six out of 52 are thriving

Just six of the 52 protected ecosystems in the Netherlands are thriving and six are in a very poor condition, according to a habitat report which the Netherlands is due to submit to Brussels, the NRC said on Tuesday.

Typical coastal areas, such as embryonic dunes, are doing well but river estuaries, peat fields and marsh areas in particular are under threat, the NRC said.

In European law, member states are supposed to protect their distinctive ecosystems and make sure their condition does not worsen, Dutch rapporteur Anne Schmidt told the paper.

The state of Dutch nature is of crucial importance in the ongoing debate about nitrogen compound pollution, and an abundance of nitrogen is one of the main causes of the ecosystem deterioration.

Nitrogen is a particular problem in Gelderland, Noord-Brabant, Drenthe, Overijssel, Utrecht and Limburg where most of intensive farming takes place. According to the public health institute RIVM, some 46% of the nitrogen compounds found in the wild come from the factory farming sector.

Drought is another problem as in the presence of invasive species and disruption to the ‘natural dynamic processes’, the NRC said.

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