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 Building with Nature Guideline > Projects > Governance for sustainable restoration - Veluwe Randmeren, NL

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Governance for sustainable restoration - Veluwe Randmeren, NL


Location: The lakes Drontermeer, Veluwemeer, Wolderwijd and Nuldernauw between the Nijkerkersluis and the Roggebotsluis close to the city of Kampen
Date: 1996- 2012
Involved Parties: 19 governmental parties and 21 societal organisations

Technology Readiness Level: 6 (Governance lessons from the field)
Environment: Lakes and Rivers
Keywords: Integrated approach, water quality, stakeholder involvement, communication, planning, project organization



The Veluwerandmeren were formed after the creation of the eastern part of the province of Flevoland. It is a diverse but fragile area with a variety of functions. The project Veluwerandmeren is initiated in 1996 to integrate different legislation and plans for the area and is a cooperation between 19 governmental agencies.

The goal of the project is to maintain and strengthen the balance between recreation, nature and economics. The governance aspects of this project are analysed in order to define lessons learned for the Building with Nature pilots. 

Initiation Phase

The Veluwerandmeren include the lakes Drontermeer, Veluwemeer, Wolderwijd and Nuldernauw. They form a diverse but fragile area with a variety of functions. Since 1996 governmental parties and societal organisations work together on an integrated plan for the Veluwerandmeren. The Veluwerandmeren are a wetland of international importance with a high diversity in waterfowl and aquatic plants. Other functions are shipping, swimming, sport-and professional fishing, drinking water provision and reed cultivation.

Together with stakeholder groups and inhabitants they (re)designed the area between the Nijkerkersluis and the Roggebotsluis close to the city of Kampen. The ultimate goal is to implement a package of integrated measures for the Veluwerandmeren to improve the spatial quality and to restore the balance between nature and recreation.

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Planning and Design Phase

The administrative decision for the project VeluweRandmeren was taken in 2001. The project includes 36 measures to be implemented between 2002 and 2012. The overall objective of the measures is to conserve and strengthen the balance between recreation, nature and economy in the area, where a good water quality is the key.

During the planning and design phase the governance aspects were seriously considered, as a nature based design solution using sand extraction for land development was not a common approach is the region.


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Construction Phase

Execution of the project started in 2002, but changes in sand extraction and nature conservation policies in combination with land acquisition on a voluntary basis led to delays. In 2010, 2/3 of the 36 measures had been executed while the rest was in the preparation or execution phase. A number of measures planned can no longer be implemented before 2012, because of certain procedures and delays in land acquisition. Extra arrangements to deal with this are currently being made.

The cohesion between the various sub-projects is enhanced by their mutual dependence in financing and realisation. A downside of this strong interdependence is that failure or delay of one project can negatively affect progress of other projects.

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Operation and Maintenance Phase

Every year, the project team organized consultancy sessions with (newly elected) governors to inform them about new developments within the project and to be informed on their opinions. These sessions functioned as agenda preparation for the Steering Committee.


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Lessons Learned

The following lessons have been learned from the project VeluweRandmeren:

  • A common problem or opportunity stimulates cooperation between stakeholders.
  • A covenant in which the rules of the game (including funding responsibilities) are made explicit favours an effective cooperation between stakeholders.
  • Communication and interaction with the local parties and public in the area is important for developing and retaining their support for the project.
  • At the start of the project, be clear about focus and scope: what can be done, what not?
  • Agree already in the planning phase on how after implementation the pilots will be monitored, managed and maintained and by whom.
  • To favor project implementation, involve politicians and administrators in the project organization.
  • A relatively small project team with a wide range of expertise and a mandate to take its own decisions can respond quickly and adequately to unexpected developments.
  • As the realization of projects strongly depends on the ability of parties to agree upon finances, a practical financial instrument is recommendable.

These lessons have been taken into account in the design for the Sand Engines IJsselmeer.



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