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Farmers, business owners, and recreational users are people who live, work, and enjoy being in the area.  Because they know the area well and are the most affected by what happens here, their ideas play a central role in the development of a BAP. 

The ecosystem approach

The Netherlands has a wealth of information and experience on environmental planning and management, not the least of which is found in the professionals who work in this field.  Below are two recommended methods for users to try.  Both are based on the ecosystem approach and have proven track records. The context determines which method is best in a particular situation. 

Dream sessions

The ideas users have about the area in which they live and work figures centrally in the dreaming process.  To start out, users and their organizational structures are mapped out.  Together, the users then determine what services the area can or should provide them with.  To do so, users develop a vision or dream for the future of the area, and then identify what actions are needed to make the dream a reality. 

When are dream sessions useful?

Dream sessions are especially useful if an area has a variety of different functions and the resulting range of stakeholders.  Consider, for example, a zoning change for a housing development; the design of city's master vision for spatial planning; or when you would like to flesh out local or regional biodiversity policy.    A basic BAP can be developed in just two meetings. 

How do I do this?

Read more on holding a dream session at Dream session plan.


The Triple D approach

Discover, Decide, Develop


How can you connect soil management, area functions, and spatial planning?  How do you link air quality, biodiversity, water, and soil?  How can you compare different, and at times competing, interests?   For all these tasks, you need a healthy dose of good judgment and a flexible framework for making comparisons.  You need a comparison framework that is multidimensional.  The ecosystem approach combines two seemingly incompatible worlds:  economy and ecology; profit and sustainability; prosperity and the environment.    

When is the triple-D approach useful?

The triple-D approach is part of a broader development of initiatives that work with the ecosystem approach.  Every approach has its own benefits.  The triple-D approach is characterized by the fact that it helps with area development while at the same time making the link with sustainable soil management. The triple-D approach focuses on opportunities for development, based on an area's qualities and strong points.  The potential of an area forms the basis.  Stakeholders (including residents, area businesses, and the government) look into the area's opportunities for development together, using business cases.  The ecosystem services help stakeholders see an area differently, enabling them to discover new or as yet untapped possibilities which can then be developed.

How do I do this?

Read more on the triple-D approach or download the brochure ‘Ecosystem services in practice; sustainable soil management and policy development' (brochure currently in Dutch only).