by Jeroen van der Vlist
Chief Operations Officer (COO)

Aug. 31, 2016

Jeroen Van der Vlist

On behalf of Staatsbosbeheer (Dutch nature management agency), Flevoland Province, and the municipalities of Almere and Lelystad, Except developed a vision document for the future development of Oostvaardersplassen National Park in the Netherlands. The report offers a vision, performance goals, and framework to guide the reserve to enhance its ecological sustainability, societal value, and economic resilience and become internationally acclaimed by 2030. An accompanying booklet introduces interesting practices and offers inspiration and ideas to help realize the performance goals.


Established in 1968, Oostvaardersplassen National Park is the Netherlands' youngest national park on land reclaimed from the sea post-WWII. It is known for its minimal intervention approach to rewilding, leading to an ecosystem resembling Europe in prehistoric times.

To further guide the future of park management, we designed a development framework based on the ELSI model, which comprises the following performance areas:

  • Energy (energy & materials)
  • Life (ecosystem & biodiversity)
  • Society (culture & economy)
  • Individual (happiness & health)

After this, we recommended a series of actions and interventions and a series of projects to help achieve their goals. This integrated sustainability approach comes from ELSI, part of Except's unique Symbiosis in Development (SiD) methodology.


With the help of this dynamic and systemically-driven framework, we produced an extensive list of new goals and a detailed framework of how to reach them:

  • Renewable energy
  • Local material loops
  • Clean and quiet mobility
  • Biodiversity enhancement
  • Connectivity with other EU nature reserves
  • Organizational culture shifts
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Human well-being
  • Economic impact
  • Financial resilience

In addition to these, we also came up with nine critical principles for the park regarding circularity, transparency, and fairness to guide the daily work and progress toward these goals. Adopting this framework by the park’s permanent and project teams will facilitate internal planning and control and enhance external communication and accountability.


The "Inspirational Anthology" is a companion document that briefly describes successful sustainability projects elsewhere that could be adopted or adapted to achieve the park's aims. These include goals such as:

  • Energy-producing buildings (Wales)
  • Renewable energy (Grand Canyon NP)
  • Carbon neutrality (Zambezi NP)
  • BREEAM building design (Pembrokeshire)
  • Circularity passports (EPEA, Germany)
  • Halophyte water purification (Netherlands)
  • Soil enrichment (Loess Plateau China), plus many more
Jeroen Van der Vlist
by Jeroen van der Vlist
Chief Operations Officer (COO)

Aug. 31, 2016

Client & Partners

Project team

  • Albertien Perdok

    Ecosystem Designer
    Except Integrated Sustainability

  • Merel Segers

    Industrial Ecologist & Sustainable Storyteller
    Except Integrated Sustainability

  • Michiel van der Vight

    Senior Associate
    Except Integrated Sustainability


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