During the lively discussions in Nagoya, Japan on the future of biodiversity policy, IUCN EURO met with Mr Verbeek, Queen's Commissioner for the province of Flevoland, Netherlands and Ms Bliek-de Jong, Deputy Commissioner to learn more about the Oostvaardersland – a great example of ecological connectivity in Europe. Listen to the interview by clicking on the audio bar below.
Forty years ago, the area in the centre of the Netherlands only 40 miles from Amsterdam was the last reclamation project in the Netherlands. Now, it is being transformed into a new natural habitat, based on the conviction that this can be an important contribution to the nature, spatial and economic development of the Netherlands and Europe.
Oostvaardersland will be a new 15,000-hectare nature reserve and recreational area in the province of Flevoland. This area is created by connecting the Oostvaardersplassen, a young nature reserve measuring approximately 5,600 hectares, to the Horsterwold, the biggest deciduous forest in the Netherlands, by means of a new area: OostvaardersWold.
This connection is made possible by converting 1,800 hectares of agricultural land in the middle of Flevoland. Oostvaardersland will be a nature reserve and recreational area of international standing. Large grazing animals such as konik horses, heck cattle and red deer will be free to range. In the Netherlands, recreational users will have more likelihood of coming face to face with these impressive animals in this area than anywhere else.