Assessing the Dutch public contribution to the healthy oceans debate
The Netherlands has a long and rich history of working with the marine environment. The ocean and sea have been closely linked to economic prosperity, food security and cultural identity since the settlement of the low-lying deltas that would become the Netherlands. Trade, a cornerstone of the Dutch economy, was made possible by the development and expansion of the world’s first corporations, taking to the global ocean in search of fortune. At the same time, the marine environment has been a source of resilience and innovation, with storm surge and periodic flooding defining many aspects of the national psyche – raising dykes, draining polders and closing off inland waters to defend society against the water became a staple of the Dutch mindset, and fostered much ingenuity and innovation. As a result, the modern relationship with the marine environment, as well as Dutch activity and policy towards the ocean and seas, is complex. In this paper, the broad current efforts of the Netherlands related to a healthy ocean are mapped out, covering the activities of key ministries, knowledge institutions and stakeholders across the Kingdom of the Netherlands, comprising the Netherlands, Caribbean Netherlands (consisting of the special municipalities of Saba, St Eustatius and Bonaire) and the nations of Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten.
The project has been conducted by Trinomics in collaboration with Ocean Fox Advisory. The project ran from January 2020 and March 2020.
Under this assignment, the following three (3) papers were prepared:
- Mapping of current efforts of the Netherlands related to a healthy ocean, covering the activities of key ministries, knowledge institutions and stakeholders across the Kingdom of the Netherlands;
- Comparative analysis of key ocean-related policy activities undertaken by a selection of EU and non-EU countries and Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) working towards a healthy ocean;
- Advice on how the Netherlands may position itself among its peers, identifying where existing activities for a healthy ocean are relevant and uncovering areas of Dutch thought leadership that may be pushed to the fore of Dutch messaging on activity for a healthy ocean.