Second National Report of Belgium
to the Convention on Biological Diversity

Agricultural biological diversity
Decision III/11 and Decision IV/6. Conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biological diversity


329. Has your country identified and assessed relevant ongoing activities and existing instruments at the national level?
a) no
b) early stages of review and assessment X
c) advanced stages of review and assessment
d) assessment completed

330. Has your country identified issues and priorities that need to be addressed at the national level?
a) no
b) in progress X
c) yes X

331. Is your country using any methods and indicators to monitor the impacts of agricultural development projects, including the intensification and extensification of production systems, on biological diversity?
a) no
b) early stages of development X
c) advanced stages of development
d) mechanisms in place

332. Is your country taking steps to share experiences addressing the conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biological diversity?
a) no
b) yes - case-studies X
c) yes - other mechanisms (please specify) Fl.

333. Has your country conducted case-studies on the issues identified by SBSTTA: i) pollinators, ii) soil biota, and iii) integrated landscape management and farming systems?
a) no
b) yes - pollinators X
c) yes - soil biota X
d) yes - integrated landscape management and farming systems X

334. Is your country establishing or enhancing mechanisms for increasing public awareness and understanding of the importance of the sustainable use of agrobiodiversity components?
a) no
b) early stages of development
c) advanced stages of development X
d) mechanisms in place

(334) Flanders establishes or enhances mechanisms for increasing public awareness and understanding of the importance of the sustainable use of agrobiodiversity components:

  • through support of non governmental organisations for safeguarding indigenous breeds of livestock (cows, sheep, goats, rabbits, poultry);
  • through subsidies to farmers for indigenous breeds of livestock (cows, sheep, goats);
  • through support of non governmental organisation safeguarding old fruit races;
  • through support and subsidies for biological agriculture (using a broader scope of races and varieties);
  • through support/subsidies for (agro)biodiversity in permanent grasslands.

335. Does your country have national strategies, programmes and plans which ensure the development and successful implementation of policies and actions that lead to sustainable use of agrobiodiversity components?
a) no
b) early stages of development X
c) advanced stages of development
d) mechanisms in place

336. Is your country promoting the transformation of unsustainable agricultural practices into sustainable production practices adapted to local biotic and abiotic conditions?
a) no
b) yes - limited extent X
c) yes - significant extent

337. Is your country promoting the use of farming practices that not only increase productivity, but also arrest degradation as well as reclaim, rehabilitate, restore and enhance biological diversity?
a) no
b) yes - limited extent X
c) yes - significant extent

338. Is your country promoting mobilisation of farming communities for the development, maintenance and use of their knowledge and practices in the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity?
a) no
b) yes - limited extent X
c) yes - significant extent

339. Is your country helping to implement the Global Plan of Action for the Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources?
a) no
b) yes X

340. Is your country collaborating with other Contracting Parties to identify and promote sustainable agricultural practices and integrated landscape management?
a) no
b) yes X

Decision V/5. Agricultural biological diversity: review of phase I of the programme of work and adoption of a multi-year work programme

341. Has your country reviewed the programme of work annexed to the decision and identified how you can collaborate in its implementation?
a) no
b) yes X

342. Is your country promoting regional and thematic co-operation within this framework of the programme of work on agricultural biological diversity?
a) no
b) some co-operation X
c) widespread co-operation
d) full co-operation in all areas

343. Has your country provided financial support for implementation of the programme of work on agricultural biological diversity?
a) no
b) limited additional funds X
c) significant additional funds

If a developed country Party -

344. Has your country provided financial support for implementation of the programme of work on agricultural biological diversity, in particular for capacity building and case-studies, in developing countries and countries with economies in transition?
a) no X
b) yes within existing co-operation programme(s)
b) yes, including limited additional funds
c) yes, with significant additional funds

345. Has your country supported actions to raise public awareness in support of sustainable farming and food production systems that maintain agricultural biological diversity?
a) no
b) yes, to a limited extent X
c) yes, to a significant extent

346. Is your country co-ordinating its position in both the Convention on Biological Diversity and the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources?
a) no
b) taking steps to do so X
c) yes

347. Is your country a Contracting Party to the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade?
a) not a signatory
b) signed - ratification in process X
c) instrument of ratification deposited

(347) Belgium signed the Rotterdam Convention on 11 September 1998. The ratification progress is in process and should be completed before 31 December 2001. For Belgium, this Convention is exclusively a federal competence.

348. Is your country supporting the application of the Executive Secretary for observer status in the Committee on Agriculture of the World Trade Organisation?
a) no
b) yes X

349. Is your country collaborating with other Parties on the conservation and sustainable use of pollinators?
a) no
b) yes X

350. Is your country compiling case-studies and implementing pilot projects relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of pollinators?
a) no
b) yes (please provide details) X

351. Has information on scientific assessments relevant to genetic use restriction technologies been supplied to other Contracting Parties through media such as the Clearing-House Mechanism?
a) not applicable
b) no X
c) yes - national report
d) yes - through the CHM
e) yes - other means (please give details below)

352. Has your country considered how to address generic concerns regarding such technologies as genetic use restriction technologies under international and national approaches to the safe and sustainable use of germplasm?
a) no X
b) yes - under consideration
c) yes - measures under development

353. Has your country carried out scientific assessments on inter alia ecological, social and economic effects of genetic use restriction technologies?
a) no X
b) some assessments
c) major programme of assessments

354. Has your country disseminated the results of scientific assessments on inter alia ecological, social and economic effects of genetic use restriction technologies?
a) no X
b) yes - through the CHM
c) yes - other means (please give details below)

355. Has your country identified the ways and means to address the potential impacts of genetic use restriction technologies on the in situ and ex situ conservation and sustainable use, including food security, of agricultural biological diversity?
a) no X
b) some measures identified Fl.
c) potential measures under review
d) comprehensive review completed

356. Has your country assessed whether there is a need for effective regulations at the national level with respect to genetic use restriction technologies to ensure the safety of human health, the environment, food security and the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity?
a) no
b) yes - regulation needed X
c) yes - regulation not needed (please give more details)

357. Has your country developed and applied such regulations taking into account, inter alia, the specific nature of variety-specific and trait-specific genetic use restriction technologies?
a) no X
b) yes - developed but not yet applied
c) yes - developed and applied

358. Has information about these regulations been made available to other Contracting Parties?
a) no X
b) yes - through the CHM
c) yes - other means (please give details below)

Further comments on implementation of these decisions and the associated programme of work

(333, 349, 350) The main pollinators of wild or cultivated plants belong to the Apoidea, or bees in a broad sense. There are 7 Apoidea families and more than 1000 species in Europe, of which 376 species have been identified in Belgium. Several Belgian specialists at the University of Mons, the Gembloux Agricultural University and the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences study wild Apoidea at Belgian and European levels. These experts have worked together since the 1970's to establish a common database on Apoidea, which contains nowadays more than 120,000 records on Belgian and European species. A faunal overview of European bumblebees will be published soon whereas a faunal study of the Halictidae of Belgium should be finalised by 2002. In 1993, the conclusions of an inventory report were rather alarming: populations of 31% of Belgian Apoidea species were found to be declining. Since 1993 however, no exhaustive inventory has been carried out in Belgium. Funding would be welcome to materialise research results. This could include the creation of a website providing:

  • general information on pollinators and on measures to be taken for their sustainable conservation;
  • information on each Apoidea species, including illustrations for each species allowing their correct identification;
  • distribution maps in Belgium and Europe;
  • a list of flowers on which the species gather nectar and which are pollinated, its status (common, vulnerable, endangered, etc.) in Belgium and Europe.

National inventories are currently carried out in several European countries and co-operation at European level could be considered. Partner countries could include the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Poland. Although these countries are characterised by considerable human resources (Apoidea specialists), research is often hampered by a lack of resources, just as it is the case in Belgium.

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Last updated  29-11-2004


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