Sustainable Landscape Management

Creative solutions

The position of nature management has changed. While the national ecological network was gradually expanded by the end of the previous century (nowadays known as the Netherlands Nature Network), today’s nature managers have to show the social added value of nature more than ever before. This means that they also focus on the value of nature for health, recreation, water storage, heat control in the city and so on.

In this case, foresters, managers and policymakers seek creative solutions for social issues which also provide natural landscape value with an additional stimulus. The development of new skills among managers and students, other types of – often more integral – research, new forms of cooperation and new working methods are required here. The professorship of Sustainable Landscape management wants to play a stimulating role in these innovations. The special issue on Sustainable Landscape Management of the professional journal “Groen” provides insight to this end into a number of activities that are included in the professorship.

About the professor

Professor Derk Jan Stobbelaar: 

  • conducts research into landscape quality, multifunctional agriculture, co-creation in nature and empowerment; 
  • provides training in these subjects and has been involved in all manner of educational innovation projects for over a decade (including GKC); 
  • studied environmental hygiene at Wageningen, where he did a PhD on the subject of landscape quality of conventional and organic farms. He subsequently worked as a postdoc in the research group of Rural Ecology within a French-Dutch partnership to do with multifunctional agriculture; 
  • has been a lecturer in the training programme of Forestry and Nature Management at Van Hall Larenstein since 2007, where he was also a professor of Integrated Nature and Landscape Management from 2010 until 2014.


The professorship is successfully working towards sustainable landscape management in conjunction with the field. Applied research and vision development contribute to landscape management whereby the increase in natural landscape value is combined with liveability and new revenue models. 


  1. Knowledge development: addressing knowledge gaps to do with the theme of sustainable landscape management. They mainly occur at the interfaces of process, technology, ecology and economy; 
  2. Educational development: integrating the concept of sustainable landscape management in the training programmes; 
  3. Professionalising lecturers: the professorship offers lecturers the opportunity to develop themselves by carrying out applied research. The professorship organises conferences and seminars, publishes research results in specialist literature and holds discussion meetings. This way, the professorship inspires lecturers to provide up-to-date training; 
  4. Access to knowledge/valorisation: the professorship helps the professional field to make progress by working together (learning by doing) and by providing advice. The results of all projects are disclosed in (international) journals in the various stages of development. 

Knowledge circle 

Trailblazers for the knowledge circle are Judith Santegoets (project leader for voluntary work in landscape management), José Meijer (evaluation of Dutch Society for Nature Conservation –communities), Gilbert Leistra (revenue models for private forestry management) and Brecht Caspers (Living Lab Self Supporting River Systems).

Knowledge circle Sustainable Landscape

Within Van Hall Larenstein, the knowledge circle works with professorships from the faculty of Delta Areas and Resources (Paddy Walker, Noël van Dooren, Euridice Leyequién Abarca and Jeroen Rijke) who are all working on the relationship between people and the environment from their own perspective. Outside the faculty, there is cooperation with Rik Eweg from Sustainable Agribusiness in Metropolitan Areas, among others, because his chain approach also has significance for the development of landscapes.