Biesbosch and Haringvliet bundle strengths and ambitions
National Park De Biesbosch and Haringvliet are linking up to form one large national park presenting the narrative of the Netherlands' Delta region. The province keenly supports this initiative. It signifies that our province has a unique natural environment that deserves more publicity. The two parks are competing jointly for the title 'World Class National Park'. To qualify for election they must submit a plan to the Ministry of Economic Affairs in September 2016.
Regional Minister Han Weber is enthusiastic about the initiative: "Visitors are the best ambassadors for nature conservation. Winning the 'World Class National Park' title prompts wider publicity and higher visitor numbers. There are two sides to this coin: more visitors and better conservation. It is a fine example of partnership on a meaningful scale. The ambition is to improve the way visitors experience our existing top class natural environment and to make it more accessible, with water as the connecting link. That strengthens the regional programmes already developed in this area."
The Netherlands Delta region has formed a single entity for centuries. Its rugged and expansive natural environment is dominated by water. The give-and-take between mankind and water is tangible everywhere. From the sea locks in the Haringvliet to the Zuiderwaterlinie and Slot Loevestein. From Tiengemeten and Biesbosch to the Kinderdijk windmills. The Netherlands Delta works as an international crossroad for humanity and wildlife. It hosts millions of migrating birds and fish, and just as many tourist visitors. It is a habitat for beavers and sea eagles, as well as over three million people who live and work in the area.
One single national park provides greater potential for developing the natural environment, leisure activities and the economy. Creating cohesion in the programmes and aspirations of the sub-regions produces a natural environment whose diversity and quality is unique by European standards. With improved access by water and over land the area can become both more enjoyable and more exploitable. As one large national park the Netherlands Delta region has a lot more to offer visitors from home and abroad as well as local residents and businesses.
Partners in the plan are Droomfondsproject Haringvliet, Staatsbosbeheer and Parkschap Nationaal Park De Biesbosch. These participants are explicitly seeking the cooperation of other entities in government and business circles. Developing the area as an international tourist attraction requires the involvement and systematic support of officials, businesses and residents. Dick Verheijen of the Biesbosch Parkschap: "We will be holding talks with other parties in the coming months. We are asking them to join in our deliberations and work out ideas and initiatives that reinforce these ambitions. We give form to the Netherlands Delta with each other."
World Class National Park (Parken van Wereldklasse) is a programme set up by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and involves a public vote. The partners will be submitting their plan for the Netherlands Delta region before 15 September 2016. The public vote on areas selected by the professional jury takes place in October.