In 2020, Naturalis and the Society for the Preservation of Nature in the Netherlands (Natuurmonumenten) embarked upon a collaborative venture to boost knowledge of biodiversity among people throughout the country. Biodiversity is under threat all over the world and just 15% of the Netherlands' original nature remains. "It's one of the biggest crises of the modern age and it needs to be addressed right now. More research and greater understanding among the general public will help us do this", says Edwin van Huis, Managing Director of the Naturalis Biodiversity Center.
Natuurmonumenten is the number one movement in the Netherlands for lovers of nature, with over 760,000 members and donors and over 202,000 children participating in the OERRR youth program. This collaboration substantially boosts the ability of Naturalis to show Dutch people of all ages how beautiful, important and fragile nature is. "All too often, people assume that nature will simply take care of itself, yet species are dying out faster than ever before”, says Marc van den Tweel, Managing Director of Natuurmonumenten. "When you learn that a single oak tree is often home to over 400 species, you see it in a completely different light. Every plant is valuable, every animal is unique and they can only exist together. This philosophy is the very foundation of nature conservation."
Naturalis and Natuurmonumenten have collaborated on a diverse range of projects over many years. Our institutes' shared drive to protect and preserve nature for future generations and to raise awareness among as many people as possible makes us natural partners in every sense of the word. In 2020, we officially signed our collaboration contract.
Naturalis makes substantial use of 'citizen science': research in which we ask for help from the general public. By linking up with Natuurmonumenten and its vast membership, we can substantially intensify and expand this research. For example, in 2020, children from the OERRR were involved in dandelion research and both Natuurmonumenten and OERRR members actively participated in the National Bee Count, of which Naturalis is a co-organizer.
If you have any questions about the collaboration with Natuurmonumenten, feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.