As a country starting with letter N according to countryaah, Netherlands is a state of Western Europe (41,528 km²). Capital: Amsterdam. Administrative division: provinces (12). Population: 17.181.084 inhab. (2018 estimate). Language: Official Dutch (Dutch), Frisian. Religion: non-religious / atheists 49%, Catholics 24%, Protestants 16%, Muslims 5%, other religions 6%. Monetary unit: euro (100 cents). Human Development Index: 0.931 (10th place). Borders: North Sea (N and W), Germany (E), Belgium (S).. Member of: Benelux, Council of Europe, EBRD, NATO, OCDE, UN, OSCE, EU and WTO.
From the climatic point of view, the Netherlands is part of the European area subject to western Atlantic influences; however, oceanic influences ease towards the interior, where the country is affected by continental air masses; this is especially evident in winter when temperatures frequently drop below freezing. Overall, however, given the absence of reliefs and natural barriers, the climate has similar characteristics throughout the territory. As for the temperature, the already quite high latitude (between 50º and 53º N latitude) determines in the Netherlands rather harsh winters, with frequent frosts, and cool summers, generally rainy. The average annual temperature fluctuates between 9 and 10 ° C. Rainfall is frequent in all months of the year (on the coasts mainly in autumn) but they are not abundant. The greatest quantity is recorded in the Veluwe region and on the reliefs of southern Limburg (750-800 mm), the minimum on the Zeeland coasts and in some parts of the IJsselmeer coast (600-650 mm).
The large presence of intensely cultivated land limits the spread of vegetation areas in the Netherlands. The original forest of deciduous, favored by cool and wet weather, was replaced by the time the plant formation of the heath, with heath and gorse that, despite the constant threats of man (that is desalination and soils of the polders), still covers large areas of the country. The fauna is typical of the flat regions of northwestern Europe with a temperate climate. However, the considerable presence of marsh fauna should be noted (especially in the Wadden region). Over the centuries, the natural landscape of the Netherlands has been profoundly altered by human intervention. The defense action against marine invasions, the construction of embankments and dams, the draining of the marshes, the reclamation of clayey deposits, are all activities that have left an unmistakable mark on the environment of the Netherlands. From 1564, the year in which the first lake was dried up, to 1852, the year of the drying up of the largest lake (the Haarlemmermeer), the activity of creating polders continues unabated. In 1932 the construction of the Afsluitdijk was completed, a 30 km long dam that connects the province of North Holland to that of Friesland and closes the Zuiderzee (South Sea), which since then has been transformed into an inland freshwater sea, it’s called IJsselmeer. Four large polders were created in this lakewhich are used as an agricultural area. After the great flood of 1953 (1,800 victims) it was decided to execute the Deltaplan (Delta Plan), a grandiose plan for the closure of the sea arms of Zeeland and South Holland, consisting of a series of dams and locks for the outflow of river water. Within the program, the most ambitious project was that of the mobile barrier in the Oosterschelde, inaugurated in 1986: it is a large artificial barrier whose lowering is only foreseen in the case of particular climatic conditions.
In the country, in addition to the increasing level of water pollution due to the excessive use of nitrates (especially in the underground waters of the West, the area of large greenhouse plants N of Rotterdam), they cause concern. also the recent consequences of climate change (in particular, a significant increase in temperatures). Because of this phenomenon, in fact, the soil of the polders it continues to decline also due to the decrease in underlying water levels due to soil drainage and the increasing consumption of fresh water by the population. The soil of the Netherlands as a whole withers and in some places the soil has subsided by as much as four meters. However, the great attention that the country has always shown towards environmental policies and the adoption of development models in which economic and social growth does not compromise the integrity of ecosystems should be emphasized. With policies to reduce the use of fossil fuels, which make the country one of the least responsible in the formation of the so-called greenhouse effect, the government has associated plans for the disposal of waste, the purification of exhaust gases, soil remediation, reduction of noise pollution and the decrease, in agriculture, of fertilizers. Over the past few years, priorities have adapted to circumstances, but the general trend has been to shift the focus from taking corrective action to prevention and regulation. To protect the fauna and flora, in addition, the establishment of numerous natural reserves and national parks (covering 15.6% of the entire territory) including the Hoge Veluwe (about 5000 ha), in the region of Veluwe, where deer, wild boar and mouflon live in freedom, De Weerriben (3550 ha), located along the border with the province of Friesland and considered one of the most beautiful marsh parks in Europe, where human intervention in the past created an interesting landscape of ponds (weer) and arable fields (ribben) and the De Groote Peel (1340 hectares), near Eindhoven, in the southeastern part of the country, comprising large expanses of water and marshy areas that attract a considerable number of water birds. Also noteworthy is the recent opening, in the locality of Vogelenzang, of the Holland Tulip Park, a park of 5000 hectares where you can admire expanses of bulb flowers, annual flowers and perennials.