The municipality of Tilburg, the Netherlands, has a biodiversity policy and greening action plan. It formulated a number of objectives to be reached by 2025. As Tilburg is a largely urbanized and booming city these objectives focus on greening business estates, increasing green infrastructure, supporting biodiversity at schools, or strengthening the ecological values of the peri-urban fringe.
For the city council it is important to know whether their biodiversity policy is working. Are objectives achieved? Is overall biodiversity increasing? Are the city’s greening investments effective?
I developed a structured biodiversity monitoring network that will help answer these and other questions in a reliable way. An analysis was carried out of ongoing nature monitoring activities. Gaps are identified and proposals made to fill these gaps. An overview was made of policy goals for biodiversity. For each of the goals an indicator was proposed. A set of ten goals and accompanying indicators was selected for implementation in the coming years. These are bundled for easy communication in a Tilburg biodiversity dashboard.
As a follow-up to the proposed biodiversity monitoring network at the end of 2018 I was contracted to test the proposed method on the basis of available data and information. This will help identify if the proposed approach works, if amendments are needed and whether the dashboard is effective in communicating about the state of biodiversity in Tilburg to the council and citizens.
In spring 2019 I was tasked to contribute to the first targeted monitoring, the inventory of flowering plants according to the method that I had proposed. This inventory will form part of the indicator that will inform about the diversity and naturalness of plant and animal species in Tilburg.