Green light for extensive research into Nature-based Solutions

The Dutch government announced recently that it will invest 110 million euros in the NL2120 consortium for extensive research into Nature-based Solutions.


In this knowledge programme, governments, nature organisations, engineering firms, dredging companies and knowledge and professional institutions work together on nature-based solutions for major challenges in the areas of climate, nature-inclusive agriculture, biodiversity and housing.

NL2120, which is financed through the National Growth Fund, is one of the largest partnerships in the world in the field of nature-based solutions.

Alex Hekman, chairman of NL2120, commented: “With this knowledge programme, we focus on Nature-based Solutions that match the natural characteristics of the water and soil system. As a result, they work better for conserving biodiversity and are more resistant to climate change.”

Knowledge and innovation program NL2120 has a term of 10 years and is expected to generate a cumulative growth of Dutch GDP of 1 billion euros.

Hekman added: “We will not only apply the knowledge and insights generated by this program in our own country, but also export it. In addition to climate-proofing the Netherlands, the knowledge program also increases our country’s earning capacity. After all, the challenges of delta cities and subsidence areas are global and are not limited to the Netherlands.”

In recent years, Nature-based Solutions have become part of international treaties, such as the European Green Deal and the United Nations Global Biodiversity Framework. Well-known examples in the Netherlands are coastal reinforcement with sand, and city parks for water collection and cooling.

The market for Nature-based Solutions is growing rapidly. For example, expenditure from international climate funds is expected to increase to 700 to 800 billion euros in 2050. The knowledge program focuses, among other things, on subsidence areas.

The NL2120 consortium consists of: Stichting Ecoshape (Arcadis, Boskalis, HKV, Royal HaskoningDHV, Sweco, Van Oord, Witteveen+Bos and others), the province of Friesland, the municipalities of Dordrecht en Rotterdam, Staatsbosbeheer, the knowledge institutions Deltares, Wageningen University & Research, TU Delft, TU Twente, Universiteit Utrecht and a wide range of NGO’s (ARK Rewilding NL, De Noordzee, IUCN NL, IVN, Natuur & Milieu, Natuur & Milieu Federaties, Natuurmonumenten, SoortenNL, Vogelbescherming en WWF–NL) and representatives of educational institutions CoE Delta Platform, CoE Groen and CIV Groen (Hogeschool van Hall Larenstein & HZ UAS).