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In this paper we present the implementation of a newly developed method to integrally plan for nature and water measures required to adapt to climate change, together with stakeholders. The identification of required nature adaptation measures is based on metapopulation theories.

The climate is changing and this has a pronounced effect on biodiversity (Van den Hurk, B. et al., 2006; Vos, C. et al., 2008). Researchers expect that a significant part of European biodiversity might be lost in several decades. The shifting climate zones and more frequent extreme weather events, combined with the small and highly fragmented nature areas in West Europe is expected to result in the local extinction of populations and finally of many species themselves (Berry, P. et al., 2007).

Society can help nature to cope with climate change by implementing adaptation measures. In the Netherlands, nature policy is aiming at the realisation of a national ecological network. However, it is expected that the realisation of the Dutch National Ecological network is insufficient for sustaining biodiversity in a changing climate. To adapt the national ecological network to climate change, the realisation of so-called “climate corridors” is proposed (NEAA, 2008). A climate corridor is a national corridor of an ecosystem of several kilometres wide. The corridor contains several spots of large nature areas, in which species that are suffering from climate change can sustain longer. Further, the landscape within this corridor is made better permeable for species, so local populations can connect to neighbouring populations. In addition, it helps species to keep their distribution area along with the shifting climate zone. To make the national climate corridor effective on a larger scale, it is important that it is connected to ecosystems networks in neighbouring countries (Vos et al., 2009).

A part of the wetland climate corridor is projected in the Dutch province of Groningen. This province is situated in the north-east of the Netherlands, bordering Germany. The province administration wanted to know what is long-term required for the adaptation of nature and the water system and if, where and how adaptation measures for water and for nature can be combined and can have synergy. This is of importance for the province as support and finance for nature development on itself are limited. Connecting measures for water and nature adaptation can help the realisation of the adaptation measures. To build up support for adaptation measures and to include local expert knowlegde, this assessment was carried out together with the authorities in the field of water and nature: the province of Groningen (nature) and the Water boards (regional water authorities responsible for the water management).



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