Home » About Us » National Committees » The Netherlands

National Committee of the Netherlands (Nederlands Veengenootschap)

Drs. A.H.P. van Berckel new!
Nederlands Veengenootschap
Intervema BV 
Burg. J.G. Legroweg 86 
9761 TD Eelde 
Phone: 050-3095950
E-mail: guusvanberckel (at) intervema.nl


Dr. A.J. Schilstra
Nederlands Veengenootschap
Hoofdstraat 152 new!
9355 TE Midwolde
Phone: +31 594 513701
Fax: +31 50 363 7168       
E-mail: a.j.schilstra (at) rug.nl
Web: www.veengenootschap.nl 

Annual Report 2010

Leo Schipper, who last year stepped down as president of the Dutch National Committee was awarded with an honorary membership of our Veengenootschap on the 2010 annual general meeting. His stimulating interest in all aspects of peat, its use and its people were herewith symbolically recognized, as his successor, Guus van Berckel, eloquently formulated.

We are proud Gerald Schmilewski, nominated by the Veengenootschap with support from the DGMT and the RHP Foundation was awarded the “IPS Award of Excellence 2010”, formerly the “Wim Tonnis Peat Award”. Among many other things Gerald was the stimulating force behind the successful series of “Peat in Horticulture” symposia, in the first years together with Wim Tonnis. This year the sixth symposium with the title “Life in Growing Media” was held as usual the day before the opening of the Amsterdam Horti Fair. About 120 people attended this very interesting symposium.

Incidents have made clear that old-fashioned hands-on knowledge about peat and peat dikes is disappearing. The Netherlands National Committee is preparing a course to preserve this knowledge for professionals in for example landscape maintenance and water regulating bodies. The Dutch Board has joined a similar DGMT-course to find out the German way of disseminating this knowledge. Related to this is the initiative for the Board to brainstorm with organisations like Wetlands International and experts from the Agricultural University Wageningen in areas of potential mutual interest. Interest is growing, as also can be seen in the attendance of our annual meeting where dr. Geert van Wirdum and drs. Piet Cleveringa presented most interesting lectures on the subject peat, dikes and safety. The subject will remain vital to the Netherlands in the centuries to come.

The Dutch government has organized Stakeholder Meetings on Sustainable Trade in Peat and Peat Products, with the aim of gaining thorough insight into practices in the peat chain and the potential to increase its sustainability. From a global context point of view the project is also looking at the relevance of peat use by the horticulture sector for the total availability and use of peat in the world and the influence of the use and degradation of peat lands on the climate and vice versa. Experts from the peat industry, universities and government attended. The final report will be ready in the first part of next year.

Annual Report 2008

The Dutch National Committee of IPS met three times in 2008 and organised two occasions where members could meet.  Firstly, Alterra of Wageningen University hosted the annual meeting where the Board of the Netherlands Veengenootschap reported on their activities and plans to its members.

Both the report of activities and the financial reports were recorded. After the meeting, those present were fascinated by four presentations on the relation between hydrology and ecology in tropical peatlands, the history of landscape development of the province of Drenthe in the last 1,000 years, the effects of climate change on bogs, and finally on an experiment about the influence of birches on the development of peatlands.

In the autumn, a so-called study-day was held in Griendtsveen, a village named after an ancestor of our honorary member Henk van de Griendt. The program included presentations on the economics of peat production in the past and the interwoven history of Griendtsveen and its local peat production.

Members of the Board of the Nederlands Veengenootschap participated in negotiations with three other organisations in the Dutch peat business, aiming at combined meetings that would reinforce their interest and increase the number of attendants at these events. The Board repeated its proposal for its candidate for the “Wim Tonnis Peat Award”. The candidate was, however, not selected.

Many Dutch members participated in the Tullamore Congress, also with oral and poster presentations. The Tullamore Commission VIII meeting with interested Congress participants selected a successor for Dr. Anne Jelle Schilstra. Out of three candidates that were proposed by their respective national committees. Dr. Michiel Gerding, historian of the Dutch province of Drenthe, was chosen.  

A small number of members ended their membership at the end of 2008, although with new members joining, membership was seen to have increased at the turn of the year to 78.