Countryside targets will fail because of Dutch cuts

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Government cuts will mean that the most important targets for the natural environment in the Netherlands will not be achieved, according to the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency PBL.

Deputy Agriculture Minister Henk Bleker is planning to make 300 million euros of savings in the Dutch nature and countryside sector. He says he wants to do the same for less money, and hopes to achieve this by involving farmers more in the management of the countryside.

The deputy minister commissioned the PBL to consider seven different plans to make the desired savings. The PBL has concluded the targets will not be achieved under any of the plans. It says the environment and the living conditions of plants and animals will deteriorate under all seven plans.

The targets for the natural environment in the Netherlands include internationally agreed goals such as those of , a European agreement for a network of protected areas of countryside. The PBL maintains the countryside sector will need more money not less to achieve the agreed targets.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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