Third National Report of Belgium
to the Convention on Biological Diversity


C. ARTICLES OF THE CONVENTION

Article 11 - Incentive measures

83. Has your country established programmes to identify and adopt economically and socially sound measures that act as incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of components of biological diversity?
a) No
b) No, but relevant programmes are under development
c) Yes, some programmes are in place (please provide details below) X
d) Yes, comprehensive programmes are in place (please provide details below)

Further comments on the programmes to identify and adopt incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

Flemish Region: management agreements for seven aspects were included: pasture bird management, management of the borders of premises, small-scale landscape elements, buffer management, botanical management, reduced fertilisation with a fertilisation standard for water, zero fertilisation for nature. For the development of new management agreements, quantifiable objectives have been drawn up concerning pasture bird management, management of the borders of premises, small-scale landscape elements and botanical management. There are also a few additional points of interest for the future. A re-orientation of management agreements to the level of enterprise makes it possible to respond better to the individuality and working conditions of every agricultural enterprise. An interactive portal for management agreements on the internet is being developed. The services involved are working out a method to make recommendations for the adjustment of management agreements, and which can also take care of the reporting to Europe. The trend in the use of management agreements as shown in the graph below indicates that agreements for larger surfaces are not so popular.

Graph explanation/legend from top: meadow birds management, botanical management + nature, parcel border management, small landscape elements, policy objective 2006.

For the cultivated lands in vulnerable nature zones and the vulnerable zones in agricultural areas with ecological importance, botanical management is possible in anticipation of a Nature directive plan and as measure (not as compensation) compatible with the measure in areas with specific environmental restrictions and this under the following conditions:

  • within the destinations mentioned in Article 20 of the Nature Conservation Decree, areas are demarcated in advance on the basis of a number of criteria, determined by the Flemish government on the proposal of the authorised Minister for Environment;
  • the expansion perimeters of Flemish or acknowledged nature reserves are excluded;
  • the management packages concerning botanical management are linked to a management vision, approved in the implementation of the Nature Conservation Decree;
  • the management packages concerning botanical management include clearly accessible result commitments, defined under the form of conservation and/or development or recovery of nature (target) types or nature target images;
  • only for cultivated lands which are known at the registration of the manure bank;
  • if, for the cultivated land in question, no Nature directive plan becomes effective towards the end of 2004, the management agreement will expire;
  • if, for the cultivated land in question, no Nature directive plan becomes effective towards the end of 2004, Nature directive plan needs to include a pronouncement about the termination or proceeding, if possible under which additional boundary conditions, of the current management agreement.

Nature conservation organisations receive government subsidies for the acquisition of land and for management and monitoring activities in the recognised reserves. Local authorities receive government subsidies for the implementation of projects for conservation, rehabilitation and management of habitats or species within their area. The agri-environment and forestry sectors and hunter groups support schemes which include important incentives for the preservation and enhancement of biodi-versity. Evaluations are undertaken to assess the impact of such schemes.

Walloon Region

1) A revision of the agri-environmental measures took place in the Walloon Region. A new order of the Walloon Government (28.10.2004) foresees incentive agri-environmental measures for: the conservation of ecological network and landscape elements (hedges, tree rows, trees, isolated shrubs, long-stemmed fruit trees, groves, ponds), natural grasslands, verges, grasslands of high bio-logical value, etc.

2) The 'fallowland-fauna' instrument exists in the Walloon Region since 2000. It allows for the covering of resting arable lands with vegetation, creating a privileged habitat for fauna. However, the instrument has had only limited succes until now probably due to unawareness of many farmers and hunters about the instrument, the severity of the penalty when violations are detected and the heavy administrative burden placed on farmers and hunters. To remedy to this situation, the instrument was reviewed for 2005 and several constraints have been removed to obtain an enhanced network. Examples of adaptations of the instrument are the reduction of the minimal surface for fields to be eligible and a simplification of the procedures.

3) A new allowance to promote the planting of hedges will soon be available and will replace the previous one. New features are:

  • higher grants for the planting of hedges;
  • grants for the maintenance of hedges;
  • the integration of more elements such as tree rows and orchards;
  • a reduction of the administrative burden.

4) The Walloon Region provides grants to the River Contracts and 'Plans Communaux de Développement de la Nature' when they propose concrete nature restoration and maintenance projects.

5) Furthermore, incentive measures are foreseen within the following resolutions:

  • grants for appropriate sylvicultural practices (Walloon Government Resolution, 17.11.1994);
  • grants when acquiring land for nature reserve purposes (Walloon Executive Resolution, 17.07.1986);
  • grants for the plantation of hedges (Walloon Government Resolution, 09.02.1995).

Brussels Capital Region: subsidies are granted for the management of recognised nature reserves (resolution of the Brussels Capital Region Executive, 25.10.1990). However, until now, there are no recognised private nature reserves. Nature volunteer organisations receive grants and subsidies to manage natural sites and even nature reserves, in collaboration with the regional authority.

84. Has your country developed the mechanisms or approaches to ensure adequate incorporation of both market and non-market values of biological diversity into relevant plans, policies and programmes and other relevant areas? (decisions III/18 and IV/10)
a) No X
b) No, but relevant mechanisms are under development
c) Yes, mechanisms are in place (please provide details below)
d) Yes, review of impact of mechanisms available (please provide details below)

Further comments on the mechanism or approaches to incorporate market and non-market values of biodiversity into relevant plans, policies and programmes.

85. Has your country developed training and capacity-building programmes to implement incentive measures and promote private-sector initiatives? (decision III/18)
a) No
b) No, but relevant programmes are under development
c) Yes, some programmes are in place X
d) Yes, many programmes are in place

86. Does your country take into consideration the proposals for the design and implementation of incentive measures as contained in Annex I to decision VI/15 when designing and implementing incentive measures for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity? (decision VI/15)
a) No
b) Yes (please provide details below) X

Further information on the proposals considered when designing and implementing the incentive measures for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

Flemish Region: there are a number of different schemes providing incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Many of these offer incentives to enhance the biodiversity value of agricultural land and have focused on the protection and restoration of semi-natural habitats and reversing the loss of farmland features of value to wildlife, such as the contracts under the agri-environment measures. These contracts are now receiving a form of enforcement through the introduction of cross-compliance control. Additional schemes provide incentives to protect and enhance forestry land, and manage designated sites. Initiatives are taken for waving land taxes for land owners located in the Flemish Ecological Network areas. 

Walloon and Brussels Capital Regions: see incentive measures mentioned under question 83.

87. Has your country made any progress in removing or mitigating policies or practices that generate perverse incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity? (decision VII/18)
a) No
b) No, but identification of such policies and practices is under way X
c) Yes, relevant policies and practices identified but not entirely removed or mitigated (please provide details below)
d) Yes, relevant policies and practices identified and removed or mitigated (please provide details below)

Further information on perverse incentives identified and/or removed or mitigated.

Foreseen through the introduction of a cross-compliance system.

Box L.
Please elaborate below on the implementation of this article and associated decisions specifically focusing on:
a) outcomes and impacts of actions taken;
b) contribution to the achievement of the goals of the Strategic Plan of the Convention;
c) contribution to progress towards the 2010 target;
d) progress in implementing national biodiversity strategies and action plans;
e) contribution to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals;
f) constraints encountered in implementation.

 
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Last updated  14-09-2005


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