Conclusions and recommendations

Both scenarios differ substantially in their contribution to reducing the subsidence and the water inlet requirement. In the Production Landscape the soil subsidence and associated emissions can be halved, in the Natural Landscape the soil will rise and greenhouse gasses will be actively captured. Both scenarios require substantial investments and have major spatial and social consequences.

To arrive at a well-considered choice, a broader social cost-benefit analysis is needed. At the moment, the Production Scenario appears to have the most support and to best fit in with the meadow bird objective. But it cannot be excluded that in the long term the (phased or partial) transition to a natural landscape will nevertheless be addressed. Both scenarios therefore deserve further investigation and consideration. Part of this may be to set up practical pilots together with landowners and local area parties, preferably on the scale of polder units or related sub-areas.