The story of Annelies van de Craats

‘I am proud to be working for an organisation that wants to make a positive impact on nature.’

I frequently go into the field to assess risks under the Nature Conservation Act. The purpose of nature-inclusive design is to protect and enhance the habitat of plants and animals. I have now been working at Witteveen+Bos for 5 years as an ecologist within the Protection of Species and Nature-Inclusive Design team.

My biggest motivation is to increase biodiversity by creating a more robust natural system. As part of this, I am also involved in our company-wide focal point for this theme. I really enjoy including people in my enthusiasm about nature and the proactive search for opportunities for biodiversity in projects.

A great example is the ‘Nature-enhancing city of Schiedam’. Together with the municipality, we considered how to make space for flora and fauna from the very first steps of the design, rather than adding small things to an already existing design. I was also involved in the identification of opportunities for plants and animals in the widening of the A7 and A8 motorways.

I often work on multidisciplinary projects. As a result, I come into contact with colleagues from various fields of expertise, which, in turn, ensures one also learns things from outside one’s own field of expertise. That is extremely valuable. In my role as a supervisor of young colleagues, it is just as fun to share this knowledge with them. This is how we create a culture to become smarter together and better understand each other’s field of expertise.

From a broader perspective, it is great to see that nature-inclusive design is gaining traction and that my colleagues and I are increasingly able to apply it in projects. I am proud to be working for an organisation that wants to make a positive impact on nature.

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