“It was a year characterized by many great alliances” – program managers People & Nature

The partner organizations in our program People & Nature achieved excellent results in 2021. Program Managers Karlijn Steinbusch and Nina Koopman tell us about important developments and the new directions of the program.

What is your impression of 2021?
Nina: “Our partners celebrated several major successes this year, which are the result of years of dedication and perseverance to tackle plastic pollution. The Single-use-Plastic (SUP) Directive entered into force in the summer of 2021, which is the European ban on certain single-use plastic products. And the Netherlands introduced a deposit on small plastic bottles, which is also an impressive result. But generally speaking 2021 was a turbulent year for many organizations, as they awaited the formation of a new cabinet. The caretaker cabinet had deferred many important decisions to the incoming members of government, also in the area of environmental legislation.”
Karlijn: “Although online meetings were the name of the game for us and for many of our partners in 2021, several important conferences could fortunately be held in-person again. This included the conference of the GFCM, the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean. At the conference, the EU member states bordering on the Mediterranean took many decisions on waters that will be closed to fishery in order to better protect fishery stocks and vulnerable marine ecosystems.”

Left: Nina Koopman. Right: Karlijn Steinbusch.

What are the important developments in your program?
Nina: “In 2021, we reflected on our efforts of previous years and explored new avenues for our program. While in previous years we focused heavily on combatting plastic pollution, in the next few years we will work on the theme ‘a healthy living environment’. We will zero in on combatting harmful chemical substances in consumer products, packaging and in our food. We will also focus on maintaining the biodiversity in the Netherlands, for instance by exploring how to reduce the pressure on nature by making our food system more sustainable.”
Karlijn: “In order to gain more insight into the underlying causes of overfishing and damage to the marine environment, we supported the transparency organization Global Fishing Watch in 2021. It was a year characterized by many great alliances. For example, together with Oceans 5, an international funders’ collaborative, we directed our effords toward backing a broad alliance of NGOs working on biodiversity recovery in the Mediterranean.”

Can you give us an idea of the program activities you will be conducting in 2022?
Nina: “We are investigating how we can make a difference by supporting organizations that are committed to better legislation and regulations on harmful chemical substances. Brussels is the main hotspot of activity and many organizations don’t have enough manpower to influence policy in all domains. Not only do harmful chemical substances cause environmental problems, they also have a huge impact on our health. This is not common knowledge among policymakers, let alone the general public.”
Karlijn: “Thanks to the analyses of the transparency organization Global Fishing Watch and the articles of journalists who are supported by the Mediterranean Media Initiative of the Earth Journalism Network, we expect to see more attention for the impact of fisheries on the Mediterranean.”

People & Nature Program

Adessium aims to create a society that takes a responsible approach to nature and the environment. Part of our work involves the conservation of valuable nature in the Netherlands and Europe. We are committed to healthy ecosystems where nature has the room to regenerate. At the same time, we aspire to a clean environment, free from visible and invisible pollution, also in the interest of our own health.

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