The Netherlands was always a country of water abundance, where intensive agricultural production was facilitated by draining land. Recent periods of prolonged droughts have changed that perspective quite dramatically. It has become evident that landscapes in the Netherlands are under severe stress by intensive agricultural use, groundwater extraction, and climate change. This is particularly true for the sandy-soil landscapes that drain fast and face limited fresh water supply. Societal actors currently lack the incentives to transform to a climate-robust future, mostly because many landscape functions are valuable to society, but private individuals are not compensated for their provision. Insights on how the design of economic incentive and regulatory systems can unlock a transformation towards climate-robust production systems are urgently needed. The project team addresses these questions using living field labs, building on existing projects and partnerships.
We provide a disciplinary and multidisciplinary research programme aimed at advanced understanding of environmental problems and advanced training of PhD candidates in this field.