11-3
Multistakeholder partnerships at the regional level; Developing a sustainable perspective for a former airfield
Theo De Bruijn, Saxion University for Professional Education, Netherlands
Where sustainable development needs a multi-stakeholder setting to get concrete form, regional initiatives deserve wide attention. It is at this level that partnerships are most easily formed. Partners often know each other already, sometimes they can build on previous collaboration and they share an interest in their immediate surroundings. This paper documents a regional initiative to develop a sustainable perspective for a military airfield that is going to be closed next year (airforce base Twenthe in the Netherlands). The airfield lies in the middle of an area with nature reserves, some farming, and some estates and is located relatively close to urban areas. The total area now is more or less coherent. The location of the airfield prevented many developments from happening, especially urbanization. As a result many rare species can be found at and around the airfield. Many people fear that with the airfield gone, industrial developments and urbanization will destroy the unique characteristics. During the past year, therefore, an initiative has been launched to develop a more sustainable use of the former airfield. Important elements in the plan are the expansion of biological farming, extensive recreation and nature development. The overarching goal is to create a sustainable perspective for the total area, that is the airfield with its surroundings, and to preserve it unique characteristics. On May 27, 2004 a symposium will be organized in which all the stakeholders will come together to discuss the possible next step. The meeting is aimed at forming a formal partnership. Important questions are whether the partnership can indeed be formed and whether it will be sufficiently powerful to stop other threatening developments from happening. At the GIN conference the actual results can be shared as I am acting as an adviser to the process.
 
View Full Paper in PDF FORMAT