Edited by Raymond J.G.M. Florax, Peter Nijkamp and Kenneth G. Willis
Chapter 13: A cost–benefit analysis of sustainable nature policy in the Dutch Vecht wetlands area
13. A cost–beneﬁt analysis of sustainable nature policy in the Dutch Vecht wetlands area Ernst J. Bos, Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh* 1 INTRODUCTION This chapter presents a cost–beneﬁt analysis of nature conservation in the ‘Vechtstreek’, a region that is dominated by the presence of wetland ecosystems. The Vechtstreek is the plain area of the Vecht river in the centre of The Netherlands. The northern half of the area lies in the province of Noord-Holland, and the southern half in the province of Utrecht. The western side of the area borders on the Amsterdam–Rhine canal and the Vecht river, and on the eastern side on an area called ‘Het Gooi’. The Vechtstreek covers about 8 by 20km with wetlands, including small lakes, streams and fen-grassland patches, which have created unique combinations of ﬂora and fauna, as well as remarkable biological diversity. The history of the area over the last centuries has seen a unique combination of natural and economic processes, dominated by peat extraction, erosion of small pools in larger lakes, and recovery of land via drainage and regulation of water tables. The importance of natural features in the Vechtstreek is indicated by the fact that the area has the highest concentration of regional nature conservation organizations in The Netherlands. The high nature value in this area is also reﬂected in its being part of the Ecological Main Structure of The Netherlands, and the fact that the Vecht river belongs to The Netherlands Blue...
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