JEG 2007

Jaarboek voor Ecologische Geschiedenis



Henny van der Windt (Guest editor)

Tussen dierenliefde en milieubeleid, Tien jaar ecologische geschiedschrijving in België en Nederland. Jubileumnummer naar aanleiding van het tienjarige bestaan van het Jaarboek




Erik Thoen, Christophe Verbruggen, Henny van der Windt en Hilde Greefs

‘Ecologische geschiedenis’: een discipline met oude wortels, vele takken en jonge vruchten


[Ecological History: a discipline with old roots, many branches and young fruits]

In this article, we provide an overview of the field of environmental history. We show the roots of the discipline in the United States, in Europe and especially in Belgium and the Netherlands. Various disciplines, such as historical geography, technology studies, chemistry, biology, anthropology, and history of agriculture, forestry and hygiene, have contributed to environmental history. Within the central problem, the development of the interaction between humans and the natural environment, physicalbiological, socialeconomic, mental and social-cultural aspects can be distinguished. However, it is not always clear how these aspects can be related in a real multidisciplinary approach. Environmental history has proven its practical relevance, for instance to the management of landscape, natural resources, soils and climate. Although there are several institutions, such as journals, scientific societies and educational programmes, research in the Netherlands and Belgium needs a boost.


Marjolein ’t Hart

Tussen dierenliefde en milieubeleid. Tien jaar ecologische geschiedschrijving in België en Nederland in internationaal perspectief


[Between love for animals and environmental policy. Ten years of writing ecological history in Belgium and the Netherlands in an international perspective]

This contribution analyses the contents of the Flemish-Dutch Jaarboek voor Ecologische Geschiedenis (JEG: Yearbook for Ecological History) in its first ten years: 1997-2006. Subsequently, the JEG is compared with two major periodicals in this field, Environmental History and Environment and History. The JEG occupies a specific position: more than either English language periodical, the emphasis is on the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, as well as on the longer term. With regard to the background of the authors, the JEG also includes philosophers, archaeologists and policymakers to a larger extent than the other journals, although historians constitute the largest group. Male authors clearly dominate the field of ecological history, but the number of female authors is growing. The JEG also publishes frequently on ‘grey’ topics (environmental problems) and less about ‘green’ (nature) items. Water management, environmental policy, pollution and agriculture are dominant features. Compared to the other two periodicals, Dutch and Belgian ecological historians more often study animals and flora, but they publish less on forestry, nature conservation and the ‘green’ movement. The yearbook serves as a clear platform within the academic world for ecological history in the Low Countries.


Dries Tys en Pieterjan Deckers, Waarom een kip nooit zomaar een kip is, Ecologische geschiedenis en archeologie: een inleiding.



Wietske Prummel

Mens en dier in de pre- en protohistorie van Noord-Nederland


[Humans and animals in the prehistory and protohistory of the northern part of the Netherlands]

This article describes the development of the relationship between humans and animals in the northern part of the Netherlands from 5600 BC until the early Middle Ages. Until approximately 4400 BC, humans were almost exclusively hunter-gatherers. Major changes occurred between 4800 and 4400 BC, when agriculture was introduced. The landscape became more open and cattle were used to plough the fields. The salt marshes of the northern coastal regions appear to have been appropriate grazing land for cattle, sheep and goats from 700 BC onwards. Animals also had symbolic value, as is shown by the appearance of animals as gifts in human graves. The dykes which were constructed in the eleventh and twelfth centuries gave the inhabitants better protection against the sea. However, another consequence was substantial habitat loss for certain wild animals.


Chloé Deligne

Stedelijke vervuiling in het verleden: een inleiding



Dave De Ruysscher

‘Ter minste schade’, Milieurecht en -rechtspraak tussen buren te Antwerpen en Mechelen tijdens de zestiende en zeventiende eeuw


[Legislation and case law on neighbour nuisance in Antwerp and Mechelen (sixteenth and seventeenth centuries)]

In this contribution, the evolution of urban legal solutions regarding neighbour nuisance is examined for Antwerp and Mechelen. In both cities, the sixteenthcentury written customary law provided remedies for these situations. Yet the efficiency of these rules was not merely the result of their formulation in legal texts, but also of their application in judicial practice. In both Antwerp and Mechelen, experts played an important role in trials on neighbour nuisance. As a result, the judges did not follow the written rules too strictly, but rather searched for adequate answers to often complex situations.


Henk van Zon

Duurzaamheid: een inleiding



Tom Verbeke

De milieu-Kuznets-curve voor SO2 en CO2 in België en Nederland


[The Environmental Kuznets Curve for SO2 and CO2 in Belgium and the Netherlands]

The Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) represents graphically the relationship between economic development and the environment. In this contribution, we focus on the impact of economic growth on the emissions of SO2 and CO2 in Belgium and the Netherlands. We also try to show which factors influence the EKCs for these pollutants. Our data reveal that economic development in the last decades has lead to environmental improvement in SO2, both in Belgium and the Netherlands, but not in CO2. With respect to the factors that have had an impact on the way in which emissions react to economic growth, the evidence we present suggests that new technology was important for SO2. There are also important substitution effects. However, these differ between the two countries. Whereas the Netherlands has replaced more polluting fossil fuels by gas, Belgium has replaced fossil fuels by nuclear energy. However, our analysis suggests that these substitution effects are not sufficient to explain the EKC for SO2.


Henny van der Wind

Ecologische geschiedenis en sociale bewegingen: een inleiding



Henny van der Windt en Dirk Bogaert

Vlaamse en Nederlandse natuurbeschermers op zoek naar een betere natuur: discoursen en strategieën

in de periode 1945-2005


[Flemish and Dutch nature conservationists looking for a better nature policy: discourses and strategies in the period 1945-2005]

In this article we compare Dutch and Flemish nature conservation during the period 1945-2005. We found that from the beginning in both countries the focus was on arcadian, harmonious landscapes. In the first decades, the Dutch conservation movements were better organized, workedtogether more closely with stakeholders and scientists, could purchase their own nature reserves and influenced policymakers. This, together with the complicated structure of the Belgian state, resulted in a late start for Flemish conservation policy compared with the Netherlands. During the 1990s, Dutch nature conservation organizations became rather influential because of the large number of members, nature reserves, knowledge and contacts with stakeholders. At that time, two new nature discourses arose in the Netherlands, one wilderness oriented and one oriented on environmentally friendly use of nature. Both were linked to new practices and stakeholders such as landscape architects and farmers. Meanwhile, the Dutch state altered its conservation policy, stimulated by new ecological insights and EU regulations. In Flanders, this development again started later and was less substantial. Flemish nature conservation movements had fewer members, fewer reserves and less political influence. Furthermore, the implementation of nature policy in Flanders turned out to be more difficult than in the Netherlands.