The project team worked closely together with the stakeholders, thus learning several lessons concerning governance issues:
- Make sure all relevant stakeholders are identified and contacted beforehand. Determine who will be politically and administratively responsible for approving the permit and make sure they are involved or regularly updated on the process. This may seem obvious, but appears in practice to be more complicated.
- Discuss and investigate the potential of landscaping an sand extraction site within the prevailing permit limitations before the design is made (input for design);
- Use technical documentation and workshops to inform the permitting authorities, explain the rationale underlying the ecosystem-based landscaping and indicate its expected effects;
- Approach the permit application procedure in an opportunity-driven manner, searching for possibilities rather than restrictions.
The stakeholders acknowledged that the project offered a great opportunity to study in practice the potential of landscaping in terms of development, design and ecological outcome. Based on the gathered ecological data, 4 scientific articles are published in peer-reviewed journals.