Second National Report of Belgium
to the Convention on Biological Diversity

Article 10 Sustainable use of components of biological diversity


137. What is the relative priority afforded to implementation of this Article and the associated decisions by your country?
a) High Fl.
b) Medium Wa.
c) Low

138. To what extent are the resources available adequate for meeting the obligations and recommendations made?
a) Good
b) Adequate X
c) Limiting
d) Severely limiting

139. Has your country integrated consideration of the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources into national decision making (10a)?
a) no
b) early stages of development
c) advanced stages of development Wa.
d) programme or policy in place Fl.
e) review of implementation available Fl.

(139) Flanders - The forest policy of the Flemish Region is part of the Environment Policy Plan 1997-2002. In general, policy planning is part of more generic and specific strategic planning process. The forest policy is described in:- the Flemish Government Act on Forests (June 13th 1990);- the Long Term Forestry Plan (draft) describes the strategy for a sustainable forest policy up to the year 2100;- the Forestry Action Plan (draft) defines 33 actions for the next 5 years. The Flemish Forest decree created the basis for a more plan-oriented forest policy. A background study 'Long Term Forestry Plan' describes the strategy for forest policy up to the year 2100. The first step towards realisation of this strategy is formulated in the document 'Forestry Action Plan' which is now being finalised. This plan defines more than 30 key-actions for the next 5 years. There are 3 levels of implementation of the Flemish forest policy:- forests owned by the Flemish Region: forest management is carried out by the Division of Forests and Green Spaces and an exhaustive management plan has to be made;- other public forests: the technical forest management is carried out by the Division of Forests and Green Spaces and an exhaustive management plan has to be made;- private forests: for forest grouping, grants awarded, management plan (limited or extended version) needed, licenses and permits for all activities not included in the management plan, (subject to) advice. Every forest must be managed in a way that the permanent fulfillment of the different forest functions is accomplished. The forest owner has to prove this by submitting a forest management plan, drawn up according to a model established by the Flemish Government. Forest reserves and shelter-forests are appointed by the Flemish Government and must be primarily managed according to their special role. Public forest owners must pay special attention to the ecological forest function and the forest management must fulfill some regional guidelines:- conservation or restoration of the natural flora and fauna;- stimulating the indigenous or site-adapted species;- stimulating the natural regeneration;- stimulating uneven-aged and irregular formed forest stands;- advancing the ecological balance. The grants which can be provided to private forest owners who dispose over an agreed forest management plan and who want to afforest or reforest in a natural or an artificial way are higher if indigenous species are used. Integration of several forest properties in order to make a common integrated management plan is encouraged by providing grants. Integration of forest management and other forms of land use (agriculture, nature conservation) is stimulated by means of the Municipal Nature Development Plans and rural land use management plans. The keywords of the Flemish forest policy are a multifunctional and sustainable forestry. To apply this forest policy, a management vision is being worked out, in a first phase for the forest owned by the Flemish Region. This vision consists of:- specific and concrete guidelines for a close-to-nature forest management;- a framework to assess the forest functions;- a method for quality control. The guidelines are based on the principles of the Flemish PRO SILVA working group. The aims are: attaining a reasonable production of high quality wood, reaching an attractive forest with sufficient variation for recreational uses able to withstand a certain level of disturbance, giving the indigenous flora and fauna chances and obtaining a forest that can fulfill the shelter function. The Flemish Forest Service supports the principles of Pro Silva Flanders as a means, together with the principle of multifunctional forestry, to obtain a sustainable forestry.

(139) Wallonia - In response to Belgium's engagement to implement the 'General principles for the sustainable management of forests in Europe' and the 'General principles for the conservation of biological diversity in European forest', of the second Ministerial Conference on Forests (Helsinki, 1993), Wallonia produced an assessment of the management of its forests ('La Gestion Durable de la forêt en Wallonie', June 1997 Edition). The first part of the report describes the main characteristics of forests, as well as the legal and institutional framework of forest policy in Wallonia. The second part of the report illustrates forest management as it is carried out in Wallonia, using criteria and indicators determined by the Helsinki resolutions. Objectives and targets for sustainable forest management are identified both for publicly- and privately-owned forests.

140. Has your country adopted measures relating to the use of biological resources that avoid or minimize adverse impacts on biological diversity (10b)?
a) no measures
b) some measures in place Wa.
c) potential measures under review
d) comprehensive measures in place Fl.

141. Has your country put in place measures that protect and encourage customary use of biological resources that is compatible with conservation or sustainable use requirements (10c)?
a) no measures
b) some measures in place Wa.
c) potential measures under review
d) comprehensive measures in place Fl.

142. Has your country put in place measures that help local populations develop and implement remedial action in degraded areas where biological diversity has been reduced (10d)?
a) no measures
b) some measures in place Wa.
c) potential measures under review
d) comprehensive measures in place Fl.

143. Does your country actively encourage co-operation between government authorities and the private sector in developing methods for sustainable use of biological diversity (10e)?
a) no
b) early stages of development
c) advanced stages of development Wa.
d) programme or policy in place Fl.
e) review of implementation available

Decisions IV/15. Relationship of the Convention with the Commission on Sustainable Development and biodiversity-related conventions

144. Has your country submitted to the Secretariat information on tourism and its impacts on biological diversity, and efforts to effectively plan and manage tourism?
a) no
b) yes - previous national report X
c) yes - case studies?
d) yes - other means (please give details below)

145. Has your country submitted to the Secretariat information on biodiversity-related activities of the CSD (such as SIDS, oceans, seas and freshwater resources, consumption and production patterns)?
a) no
b) yes - previous national report X
c) yes - correspondence
d) yes - other means (please give details below)

Decision V/24. Sustainable use as a cross-cutting issue

146. Has your country identified indicators and incentive measures for sectors relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity?
a) no
b) assessment of potential indicators underway
c) indicators identified (if so, please describe below) X

(146) Information on indicators relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity can be found in the thematic report 'Indicators for biological diversity in Belgium' compiled by the National Focal Point (see question 41).(decision V/25) For a project on eco-tourism, the National Botanic Garden of Belgium collaborates with a Belgian NGO in Costa Rica. The collaboration only concerns the development and management of a small botanic garden devoted to the biodiversity of Costa Rica. Staff members of the NBGB give on the spot training to gardeners. The education section of the NBGB helps with the interpretation in the Costa Rica garden.

147. Has your country assisted other Parties to increase their capacity to implement sustainable-use practices, programmes and policies at regional, national and local levels, especially in pursuit of poverty alleviation?
a) no
b) not relevant
c) to a limited extent X
d) to a significant extent (please provide details)

148. Has your country developed mechanisms to involve the private sector and indigenous and local communities in initiatives on sustainable use, and in mechanisms to ensure that indigenous and local communities benefit from such sustainable use?
a) no
b) mechanisms under development Wa.
c) mechanisms in place (please describe) Fl.

149. Has your country identified areas for conservation that would benefit through the sustainable use of biological diversity and communicated this information to the Executive Secretary?
a) no   X
b) yes

Decision V/25. Biological diversity and tourism

150. Has your country based its policies, programmes and activities in the field of sustainable tourism on an assessment of the inter-linkages between tourism and biological diversity?
a) no
b) to a limited extent
c) to a significant extent X

151. Has your country submitted case-studies on tourism as an example of the sustainable use of biological diversity to the Executive Secretary?
a) no X
b) yes

(151) The relationship between tourism and the meiobenthic biodiversity is currently studied in the frame of a Ph.D. (IWT-grant) at the Ghent University. Based on this research a case-study could be elaborated for transmission to the Executive Secretary in the future.

152. Has your country undertaken activities relevant to biodiversity and tourism in support of the International Year of Ecotourism?
a) no X
b) yes

153. Has your country undertaken activities relevant to biodiversity and tourism in support of the International Year of Mountains?
a) no X
b) yes

154. Has your country undertaken activities relevant to biodiversity and tourism in support of the International Coral Reef Initiative?
a) no X
b) yes

155. Has your country established enabling policies and legal frameworks to complement voluntary efforts for the effective implementation of sustainable tourism?
a) no
b) to a limited extent X
c) to a significant extent (please describe)

(155) Every year, the southern part of the Walloon Region attracts many tourists thanks to its preserved nature and rural areas. Tourism is in many places a major part of the local economy. For about ten years, the Walloon Region has been supporting integrated tourism, through financing the creation of rural guesthouses, tourism at the farm, etc. The Region also helps to renovate ancient infrastructures such as those for social tourism. In relation to activities in natural areas, legal frameworks have been set up to limit the adverse impact of some activities on biodiversity. This includes the regulation of motor sports, regulation of circulation in forests aiming to forbid motor vehicles and to prioritise quietness and non-adverse activities (walk, biking, horse riding, skiing), regulation of circulation on watercourses (motorboats, kayaks, scuba divers, etc.), regulation of fisheries, etc.

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Last updated  29-11-2004


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