After months of negotiations, the coalition parties VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie finally agreed on a Climate Agreement. The main changes to the draft agreement is that the government decided to balance the burdens more evenly between individuals and businesses by shifting the climate tax from citizens to companies and adjusting the energy tax, NOS reports.
Hundreds of products are incorrectly sold as "organic" in Dutch stores. This involves products from over 200 farmers who do not comply with the organic rules on animal welfare, medicine use and the environment, RTL Nieuws reports based on its own study of more than 1,500 inspection reports from regulator Skal.
While perhaps more commonly known for floods than droughts, The Netherlands is allocating seven million euros to combat excessively dry seasons in the country. The money will be used to build larger water reservoirs in sandy areas, to monitor levels of evaporation, and to reduce the impact of salinization on drinking water production, the government announced on Friday.
The consequences of last year's dry summer are still noticeable in large parts of the Netherlands. The average precipitation deficit in the country is currently at 65 millimeters, while there is usually a surplus of around 200 millimeters on March 31st, Weeronline reports.
The spraying of agricultural poison on the Dutch bulb fields exposes many more local residents to much higher concentrations of these pesticides for much longer periods than was expected, according to a scientific study by research committee pesticides and residents OBO. These pesticides are found in the diapers of babies who live 250 meters away from the bulb fields, television program Zembla, which has the research report in its possession, reports.
After the exceptionally dry year last year, the Netherlands will continue on the same foot in the coming weeks with little to no rain expected. As the groundwater level has still not recovered to standard everywhere in the Netherlands, this may mean that farmers in some areas will have to kick off the growing season with an irrigation ban. Farmers and waterboards are very concerned, AD reports.
Agricultural organization LTO Nederland and the producer organization for pig farmers POV are planning to take action against animal rights organization. They will help farmers in filing charges against wat they call "animal extremism", De Gelderlander reports.
Entrepreneurs in retail, hospitality, recreation, agriculture, and horticulture, among others, are protesting against the Labor Market in Balance Act, which is making temporary work more expensive. They will hand a manifesto with their concerns to the permanent parliamentary committee for social affairs and employment on Tuesday afternoon, NU.nl reports.
A number of bird species disappeared from the Netherlands over the past decades and more will follow if measures aren't taken, Vogelbescherming said in a new book Bedreigde vogels in Nederland. At least 10 bird species are on the brink of disappearing due to the destruction of their habitats and the decline of insects, NU.nl reports.
Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture wants to use a "light form" of genetic modification as part of her efforts to make agriculture in the Netherlands more sustainable. She is currently working with companies, farmers and Wageningen University to investigate the possibilities for experimenting with the so-called CRISPR-Cas method. She will send parliament a letter about their progress in the coming weeks, she said to the Volkskrant.
The drought in the Netherlands is still persisting. On Monday afternoon the water level in the Rijn river at Lobith was 6.73 meters above sea level, thereby breaking the previous low record of 6.87 meters from August, De Gelderlander reports.
Landscape ecologist Alphons van Winden expects the water level in the Rijn to drop another 20 to 25 centimeters if it doesn't start raining in the river's catchment area. "As it looks now, we are going to set a new record every day this week. The water level just continues to fall."
Former Environment Minister Ed Nijpels presented the Netherlands' Climate Agreement to Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate on Tuesday. This concerns the agreement in broad terms, with some concrete goals set and agreements made. The rest will be worked out and finalized later this year. The aim is to implement the Climate Agreement in 2019, NOS and NU.nl report.
From Friday farmers in the whole Oost-Brabant are banned from using surface water - water from lakes and rivers - to irrigate their fields. Everyone in the area is called on to be economical with their use of water, water board Aa en Maas announced, Omroep-Brabant reports.
This ban applies to the areas Beneden AA, Boven AA and Raam. Surface water may still be used for the drinking water of cattle, for extinguishing fires, and if an adjustable drainage system is used. Farmers who use groundwater, and not surface water, for irrigation can continue to irrigate their lands.
Criminal organizations have approached 15 percent of Dutch farmers to offer them money in exchange for free-standing sheds or stalls so that a drug lab can be built there, Trouw reports based on a poll conducted by Geleen Consultancy.
The number of farmers approached by criminals in this way may well be higher, as some may be afraid to admit this. The police believe the number may be as high as 3 out of 5 farmers, according to the newspaper.
There is a strong desire among Dutch farmers to reform the agricultural sector so that it uses climate-friendly methods, according to an opinion poll among Dutch farmers by Geleen Consultancy on behalf of newspaper Trouw.
The researchers asked farmers about their own welfare, the current agricultural sector and their ideas for the future. Only 6 percent of respondents said they currently work organically. But over 80 percent said they want to switch to climate-friendly methods.
Over the past decades there's been a "dramatic" decline in the number of ground beetles and moths in two nature reserves in the Netherlands, according to Natuurmonumenten. The number of ground beetles declined by 72 percent in Wijster in Drenthe over the past 22 years, and the number of moths by 54 percent in Kaaistoep in Noord-Brabant over the past 20 years, NU.nl reports.
Between the years 2000 and 2016, companies in the Netherlands' production methods have become cleaner and they used relatively less raw materials. Companies that are involved in environmental protection and natural resources are also doing well - their production and employment opportunities increased, Statistics Netherlands reported in its Green Growth report on Monday.
On average 1 in 3 Dutch workers stay with the same employer for ten years or longer, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released on Monday. This happens especially often in the government - 58.9 percent of officials work for the government for at least 10 years.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte warned the Dutch agriculture and horticulture sector to prepare for a so-called hard Brexit - the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without signing a trade agreement. After months of talks between the EU and the UK, the parties are not yet close to an agreement, NU.nl reports.
"Keep the option in mind that it won't succeed", Rutte said. The British government plans to leave the EU on April 1st, 2019.
The number of insects in German natural areas dropped by over three quarters over the past 30 years, according to a study by ecologists at Radboud University in Nijmegen. According to the Dutch researchers, there is no reason to believe that insects in the Netherlands are doing any better than those in the German research areas, NOS reports.
Eight out of ten still-working millionaires in the Netherlands are self-employed, Statistics Netherlands reported on Tuesday. They can mainly be found in agriculture, trade, financial services and business services. 19 percent of still working millionaires are farmers.
This is based on Statistics Netherlands data dated 1 January 2015. On that date the Netherlands counted 106 thousand households with a capital of one million euros or more. About two thirds of these millionaires had work as the main source of income. The rest consists mainly of retirees.
The new Dutch cabinet - Rutte III - will have three more Ministers than the current one, according to the Telegraaf. That will bring the total number of Ministers up to 16.
According to the newspapers, the new Ministers will be for Immigration and Integration, Climate Affairs, and Agriculture. Exactly what these portfolios will hold, is still being negotiated in the formation talks between the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie.
The fipronil contaminated egg scandal is spreading to more and more countries. Since it was discovered that the toxic pesticide was used illegally in the Netherlands and Belgium a few months ago, 45 countries found fipronil in their eggs and egg products, the Telegraaf reports.
Of the 28 EU member states, 26 reported finding fipronil in their eggs and egg products, European Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis of Health and Food Safety said on Tuesday. Only Lithuania and Croatia haven't reported finding the pesticide.
Toxic insecticide fipronil was discovered in Dutch eggs in November 2016 already, Belgian Agriculture Minister Denis Ducarme said in an emergency meeting about the fipronil crisis in Brussels on Wednesday. He also accused the Netherlands of taking too long to share this information, NU.nl reports.