The district of Düren is undergoing positive change, and this can sometimes involve intervening into nature and the landscape. But no need to worry – we create a sustainable balance in advance! Eco-accounts and eco-points are the key.
The Department for Change and Development of the District of Düren, working together with the Environmental Office, has developed a detailed guide for the use of eco-accounts in land use planning for municipalities in the district. The guide makes it easier for the 15 municipalities to conserve a functioning natural environment – and also in the long term.
Eco-accounts and eco-points: how it works
- If interventions in nature and the landscape are unavoidable, they are compensated for via equalisation and replacement measures.
- The points system: municipalities gain eco-points for ecologically meaningful measures at any time, regardless of the location. The eco-points are credited to the eco-account. If interventions in nature cannot be avoided, these are also evaluated with points and deducted from the eco-account.
- Eco-accounts look to the future and enable environmental stewardship because they can be collected at any time – even if adverse effects on nature and the landscape are not yet foreseeable.
Benefits for nature and people
- The natural balance in the district of Düren remains sustainably healthy and functional.
- Thanks to its natural environment, the district of Düren remains a place worth living in for residents and those who wish to live there in the future.
- The municipalities ensure positive balances on their eco-accounts – thus benefiting nature, the landscape and people.
- Measures for ecological functional compensation can be carried out at any location and at any time, which makes planning procedures easier for the municipalities. Ecologically sensible measures and interventions in nature are separated spatially and in terms of time.
- Ecological and landscape compensation and replacement measures are long-lasting, because they are not permitted to be limited in time.
What sounds simple is actually a highly complex subject area. What are the legal preconditions? How does the points system work, and how many eco-points are awarded for what? What are the framework conditions for building legislation and nature conservation law? How are the financial aspects regulated? The eco-account guide explains this and more besides. This gives local authorities handling security and also encourages them to work together across municipal boundaries to ensure a sustainable, natural quality of life throughout the district.