C. ARTICLES OF THE CONVENTION
Article 5 - Cooperation
9. Is your country actively cooperating with other Parties in respect of
areas beyond national jurisdiction for the conservation and sustainable use of
b) Yes, bilateral cooperation (please give details below) X
c) Yes, multilateral cooperation (please give details below) X
d) Yes, regional and/or subregional cooperation (please give details below) X
e) Yes, other forms of cooperation (please give details below) X
Further comments on cooperation with other Parties in respect of areas
beyond national jurisdiction for the conservation and sustainable use of
Projects mentioned below are ongoing, some being in final stage.
The Flemish Community: bilateral co-operation
1996: UGent-KULeuven-Universidad de Concepcion: Reconstruction, monitoring and
remediation on freshwater environments based on the use of biological
1999: UGent-VIB-University of Chile-Instituto de Ciencias Biomedicas: The use
of the micro-array technique as a tool for gene expression analysis in
1999: University Austral de Chile: Comparison of ecosystem functioning and
biogeochemical cycles in temperate forests in southern Chile and the Flemish
1998: UGent-VIB-Chinese Academy of Sciences-Institute of Botany: Biodiversity,
conservation and sustainable use of Lilium in China.
1999: KULeuven-UGent-Salt research Institute-Biology Department: Study of the
biodiversity of Chinese Artemia Strains and their possible application in
research and aquaculture.
2000: Belgian Landscape Foundation: Eco-model project 'Centro Neotrópico
Sarapiquis' - La Virgen de Sarapiquis.
1999: KULeuven-UGent-Hungarian Natural History Museum-Department of Zoology:
Biodiversity in temporary aquatic habitats: species richness and genetic
diversity in branchiopods.
1996: Institute for Forestry and Game Management: 'Selection and improvement
of fast growing tree species'.
1996: KULeuven-UGent-University of Wroclaw: Search for the most potent and
protease resistant peptides of particular insect species for eventual
exploitation in pest control measures.
1998: UGent-VUB-Agricultural University of Warsaw: Environmental river
catchment by natural or artificial wetlands.
2000: UGent-UA-VUB-Agricultural University of Warsaw: Ecological responses to
changing hydrological conditions in floodplains.
Institute for Forestry and Game Management: Study of the genetic diversity of
the oak. Putting laboratory facilities and means at a PhD-student's disposal.
1995: Ghent University: Marine biology.
1996: KULeuven-LUC-University Potchefstroom: Purification and characterisation
of natural toxins from scorpions living in southern Africa targeting ion
channels in humans and insects.
1996: Ghent University: feasibility study: Quality of education at the Botany
1996, 1998: Ghent University: Marine biology and nematology: tuition on
biodiversity of species and their habitats.
1996: Ghent University: Bilateral tuition project on plant
1997: UA-VUB-University Zululand: Comparative study of bioaccumulation and
effects of metals in mussels between a temperate and subtropical region: the
Scheldt estuary (Antwerp harbour) and the Richards Bay Harbour.
1998: KULeuven-LUC-VUB-University of Stellenbosch: Neural networks and
advances methods for monitoring and control of flotation plants.
1998: UGent-VUB-University of Cape Town: Biodiversity studies on seaweed and
echinoderms in the transition between temperate southern Africa and the
tropical western Indian Ocean.
1998: Ghent University: Co-operation between the Ghent University and the
University of the North (UNIN) in South-Africa in support of the post-graduate
course on biotechnology.
Ethno-botanical research is performed in Bolivia by the Ghent University in
co-operation with Ametrac (Bolivia).
The Flemish Community: projects under international agreements and
programmes, and multilateral co-operation
The Flemish Government Direction for Nature
Bonn Convention: Reintroduction of Sahelo-Saharan antelopes in Northern Africa
- pilot project in co-operation with Tunisia.
Under AEWA agreement: Technical and financial support of the publication of
the Wader Atlas.
Under EUROBATS agreement: Technical and financial support for the development
and publication of brochures for awareness programme on bat conservation in
Bern Convention: Support for the development of the Emerald ecological network
in Eastern-European countries.
EU-Birds Directive: Financial support for the Conference Bird Census 2001,
especially for participation of Eastern-European delegates.
Institute for Forestry and Game Management
Under COST-action E4: European 'Forest Reserves Research Network' (1996-1999)
(± 15 European countries), financing of meetings (2 per year).
Concerted action (PL97-3575): 'Indicators for monitoring and evaluation of
forest biodiversity in Europe' (1996-1999), financing of meetings and
publications by EU (AIR).
European Commission and ECE-ICP Forests of the UN: Forest Condition in Europe,
Pan-European, yearly financing.
ICP Forests: 'Forest Soil Expert Panel' (financing of meetings).
COST-action E12: 'Urban Forests and Trees' (1997-2002), 27 European countries,
financing of meetings.
COST-action E6: 'Eurosylva-Tree physiology' (1996-2000), 15 countries,
financing of meetings.
EUFORGEN: European Forest Genetic Resources programme. Steering Committee.
Financing meetings (every 4 year) (±20 European countries). Populus nigra
network (1 meeting per year). 'Noble Hardwoods'-network (1 meeting per year).
'Social hardwoods' network (1 meeting per year).EC-AIR project:
Inter-Disciplinary Research for Poplar Improvement (IRPI), 1993-1996 (Italy,
France, UK, Luxembourg, Ireland).
'Co-ordination for conservation, characterisation, collection and utilisation
of genetic resources of European Elms'. (1997-2001), (France, Sweden, Germany,
Italy, Spain, Greece, UK).
EU-FAIR: 'Genetic diversity in river populations of European Black poplar for
evaluation of biodiversity, conservation strategies, nature development and
genetic improvement.'(1998-2001) (Netherlands, Spain, France, UK, Austria,
FAO: Afforestation, Forestry Research, Planning and Development in the Three
North Region (1996-1997), Partner China. Training of technicians and making
available the genetic material of the poplar (financing by DGIS).
Afforestation, Forestry Research, Planning and Development in the Three North
Region, Phase II (1998-2002), Partner China, consultancy.
FAIR5-QLRT-2000-00631: 'Improving Fraxinus (Ash) productivity for European
needs by testing, selection, propagation and promotion of improved genetic
resources' (2001-2004) (UK, France, Germany, Ireland).
EU-LIFE project: 'Biological Indicator of Pisciculture Integration for the
Evaluation of the Ecological Quality of Lotic Systems' (1997-2000) (research
programme). This project has the objective to realise the development and the
standardisation of a fishing index for the global quality evaluation of all
watercourses within the hydrographical basin of the Meuse. Partners are The
Netherlands, the Walloon provinces, France.
EU-programme 'Studies in support of the common fisheries policy'. In the
framework of this programme, the Institute participates in a concerted action
'Management of European eel: Establishment of a recruitment monitoring system
(GLASS EEL)' (1/12/99 till 30/11/2001), in which 12 countries participate.
This project concerns the following sub-aspects with regard to the glass eel
research: development of a monitoring stations-network; international
standardisation of the monitoring methodology; development of data exchange
procedures; providing historical data; costs for meetings and publications.
In the framework of dry- and sub-humid lands, the Ghent University had or has
co-operation projects with partners in Israel and Egypt (i.a. germplasm
collection of Pistacia spp., Kenya (agroforestry & ethnobotany),
Togo (influence of dams on natural environment), Senegal (vegetation modeling,
ethnobotany), Morocco and Namibia (both ethnobotany).
Walloon Region: overview of ongoing projects
The Walloon Region contributes to the implementation of Article 5 of the
CBD in Europe a.o. through the following instruments: Pan-European Biological
and Landscape Diversity Strategy, the Bern Convention, the Bonn Convention,
the Ramsar Convention, the Habitats and Birds Directives of the EU, the
Bilateral co-operation with neighbouring countries (GD Luxembourg, France, the
Netherlands, Germany) does exist for the management of transboundary protected
areas, such as the High Fens Eiffel Natural Reserve with Germany and the
management of the Our Valley area together with Luxembourg and Germany in the
frame of the Benelux Convention and EU framework.
A project plan for the transboundary management of an ecological network
between GD Luxembourg and the Walloon Region is being developed. Joint actions
are also implemented with The Netherlands in the frame of Salmon
reintroduction in the river Meuse basin (project Salmon 2000).
In the frame of the Ramsar Convention, the Walloon Region supports the
management of wet zones crossed by the black stork in its migration between
Europe and Senegal.
- Support to the computerisation of forest management (UCL grant)
- Rehabilitation of the dams of Barka, Kouzougou and Naggio (SHER grant)
- Scientific valorisation of the Nazinga ranch (Nature+ grant)
- Preservation and protection of the forest gallery in the Sourou valley (FUL
& Coprod grants)
- Development of an information system and internet server on biodiversity (UMH
- Support to the computerisation of forest management (UCL grant)
- Establishment of a thematic House of the Cedar
- Support to the computerisation of forest management (UCL grant)
- Analysis and protection of pristine forests (UCL grants)
- Extension of the green belt of Nouackchott (FAO grant)
- Reactivation of the hunting domain of Bombo Lumene (Nature+ grant)
The French Community: bilateral and multilateral co-operation
Africa (various countries involved)
1993-2004: Ecofac - 'Conservation et utilisation rationnelle des ecosystems
forestiers en Afrique centrale' [the ULB is associated to this project,
executed in co-operation with the universities of Yaoundé (Cameroun),
Brazzaville (Congo) and Bangui (Central African Republic), the 'Institut de
recherché en écologie tropicale' (Gabon), the National Herbarium of
Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tomé; financing: EU-DG 8].
2001-2002: Plamenet - 'Les plantes médicinales africaines sur Internet' [ULB
in co-operation with the Universities of Monastir (Tunisia), Abomey-Calavi
(Benin), Yaoundé (Cameroun) and Bujumbura (Burundi); financing: 'Fonds
Francophone des Inforoutes'].
2001-2004: Diveac - 'Diversité végétale en Afrique centrale' [ULB and
FUSAGx in co-operation with the universities of Yaoundé (Cameroun) and Bangui
(Central African Republic) and the National Herbarium of Equatorial Guinea;
financing: 'Conseil Interuniversitaire de la Communauté française' and
Belgian Development Cooperation].
2001-2004: 'Assistance technique au Programme de conservation et utilisation
rationnelle des aires protégées contigues du Bénin, du Burkina Faso, du
Niger et de leurs zones d'influence' [ULB is associated to this project,
executed in co-operation with the universities of Benin and Niamey (Niger),
and with the 'Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique et Technologique'
(Burkina Faso); financing: EU-DG 8].
1998-2002: Organisation of a third cycle on the management of natural
resources [ULB in co-operation with the 'Université d'Abomey-Calavi' (Benin);
financing: 'Coopération Universitaire Institutionnelle'].
1999-2001: Control of fires in Benin [ULB in co-operation with the 'Université
d'Abomey-Calavi' (Benin); financing: 'Commissariat Général aux Relations
Internationales de la Communauté Wallonie-Bruxelles'].
1999-2005: Study of the avifauna of the wet zones in the southern part of
Benin and of the demographical and ethological features of avian species
eligible to be domesticated (Anatidae, Galliformes) [ULg in co-operation with
the 'Université Nationale du Bénin'].
2001-2002: 'Approche juridico-politique de la gestion des déchets et de la
conservation de la biodiversité au Bénin' [IGEAT (ULB) and CEDRE (FUSL) in
co-operation with the 'Université Nationale du Bénin'; financing: 'Conseil
Interuniversitaire de la Communauté française'].
1993-2000: In situ conservation of populations of Phaseolus lunatus [FUSAGx
in co-operation with the 'Universidad de Costa Rica' and IPGRI (Italy);
financing: Belgian Development Cooperation].
2002-2005: Biocomplexity and endemic fungal resources in Cuba [FUL, ULg and
UCL in co-operation with the 'Instituto de Ecologia y Sistematica' (Cuba)].
Democratic Republic of Congo
2001-2003: The 'Cuvette Centrale' as reservoir of medicinal plants [ULB is
associated to this project, executed in co-operation with the 'Institut
Pédagogique National de Kinshasa'].
2000-2003: Use of molecular data for the management of the Galapagos giant
tortoise populations [ULB in co-operation with the Charles Darwin Research
Station, the 'Parque Nacional Galapagos' (Ecuador) and the Yale University
1997-2002: Curef - 'Conservation et utilisation rationnelle des ecosystems
forestiers de Guinée Equatoriale' [ULB is associated to this project,
executed in co-operation with the National Herbarium of Equatorial Guinea].
Europe (more general)
1999-2005: Comparative phylogeography of forest rodents; phylogeography of
specific parasites [ULg in collaboration with the universities of Montpellier
(II) and Perpignan and the 'Museu Nacional de Historia Natural' (Portugal);
financing: i.a. FNRS].
2000-2001: 'Etude structurelle et fonctionelle du benthos dominant les
communautés biotiques associées aux ecosystems coralliens' [UMH in
co-operation with the University of Tulear (Madagascar); financing: Fonds de
la Recherche Fondamentale Collective - FNRS].
1998-2002: Mariculture of Holothuroidea [UMH in co-operation with the
University of Tulear (Madagascar); financing: Belgian Development
1995-2005: 'Recherche sur les facteurs explicatifs de la biodiversité des
auxiliaires (prédateurs et parasitoïdes) en vergers de pommes, en vue de
renforcer le contrôle naturel des ravageurs (acariens phytophages et psylles)'
[UCL in co-operation with 'l'Ecole Nationale d'Agriculture' (Morocco)].
Papua New Guinea
1985-ongoing: Systematics and ecology of macro-algae, marine vascular plants,
lichens and lignicolous Fungi [ULg in co-operation with the University and the
Forest Research Institute of Papua New Guinea; financing: 'Fonds de la
Recherche Fondamentale Collective' - FNRS].
Federal level: co-operation projects involving scientific
The National Botanic Garden of Belgium published the proceedings of
the AETFAT conference held in Meise [Syst. Geogr. Plants 71 (2): 1151 pag].
Cameroonian botanists, the next organisers of the conference in 2007, asked
for support of the NBGB.
The project with CECODI (Benin) came to an end, but the collaboration with
the different partners went on. Within the region there is a big interest in
ethnomycology, especially since the 'Guide des Champignons comestibles du
Bénin' was published in 2002. The NBGB continues collaboration with
mycologists in the region (Benin, Burkina Faso, etc.).
In 2005 the Garden organised a course on field mycology in Gabon for the
Central-African region. The course was made possible trough funding of the
CIFOR in collaboration with the Centre National de Recherches Scientifiques
ert Technologiques (Libbreville, Gabon).
Since 2005 the Garden is responsible for the rehabilitation of the botanic
garden in Kisantu, a project funded by the European Union as part of the
programme 'Renforcement des capacités de gestion de l'ICCN et appui à la
réhabilitation d'aires protégées en République Démocratique du Congo'.
The rehabilitation programme, including renewal of buildings is a two years
project. The main fields of interest are institutional capacity building,
education, collection management and development and infrastructure.
The department of African Zoology of the Royal Museum for Central Africa
(RMCA) has bilateral development co-operation projects with African partners
in several countries, covering the following fields: ornithology (BirdLife -
Cameroon, MUIENR - Uganda, UNIKIS - DR Congo, CNDRS - Comoros, UCT - South
Africa), entomology and invertebrates (NMK - Kenya, Ivory Coast, SADC region,
BEST - DR Congo), ichthyology (TAFIRI - Tanzania, Fisheries Dept. - Zambia)
and mammalogy (UNIKIS - DR Congo). Projects have a general focus on education
capacity building (museology) and/or taxonomic expertise support for
Specific projects on freshwater biodiversity resources in Africa and
South-East Asia involve active co-operation with institutions in the Ivory
Coast, Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Vietnam and Indonesia. These projects are inter
alia financed by the DGDC, the European Union and the World Wildlife Fund for
The African Biodiversity Information Centre (ABIC) is housed at the Royal
Museum for Central Africa and funded by the Belgian Development Cooperation.
The RMCA has the largest zoological collections from central Africa in the
world, and ABIC organises training internships for students from developing
countries, with an emphasis on datamining and transfer of collection
information. ABIC engages in co-operation agreements with the source
institutions of the students to ensure support for the valorisation of the
transferred information after the training. Internships are individually
adapted to meet the needs and requirements of the applicants.
The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences is cooperating in
the European Union Project PASCALIS (Protocols for the Assessment and
Conservation of Aquatic life in the Subsurface). The objective of the project
is the assessment and conservation of groundwater biodiversity in Europe.
Partners are universities and museums in France, Spain, Italy and Slovenia.
With respect to the Antarctic Treaty, Belgium co-operates with other
parties in the framework of the SCAR programme (Scientific Committee on
Antarctic Research, working group Biology). URL: www.scar.org.
Ant'phipoda, another RBINS project on the Antarctic, is a web reference centre
on marine biodiversity in the Antarctic, and is devoted to amphipod
The RBINS actively participates in the development of the ENBI initiative
(European Network of Biodiversity Information), which is the European Union's
contribution to GBIF. It is also a member of ENHSIN (European Natural History
Specimen Information Network) and is the co-ordinator of the European network
of museums CASTEX dealing with the best use of natural specimen in scientific
The RBINS has obtained the EU label of 'Major European Infrastructure' and
participated to ABC (Access to Belgian Collection of interest for
biodiversity) from 2001 to 2003, allowing 75 scientists to visit the
zoological and palaeontological collections of the institute. From 2004 to
2009, the RBINS is representing Belgium in the SYNTHESYS project, coordinated
by the Natural History Museum of London and involving 20 biological
collections. Under SYNTHESYS, the RBINS is coordinating the venue of
scientific visitors coming to Brussels (RBINS), Tervuren (RMCA) or Meise (NBGB).
The RBINS is also the country representative in the Network of Excellency
EDIT (2005-2010) standing for European Distributed Institutes of Taxonomy.
RBINS is coordinating the taxonomy training activities of this new large
The Belgian CHM partnership with developing countries is continuing (see
Second National Report for more information) and includes now cooperation with
21 countries and 3 subregional networks. The cooperation with countries
includes capacity building of CHM National Focal Points, hosting of the
national CHMs, technical advice, scientific cooperation and training of
national BCH focal points to use the BCH portal (http://bch-cbd.naturalsciences.be/belgium/cooperation/partnership/partner-inf.htm).
Furthermore one regional CHM workshop in Burkina Faso, December 2003 (http://bch-cbd.naturalsciences.be/belgium/cooperation/partnership/workshopouaga/workbur2003.htm)
and a sub-regional CHM training course in Burundi, January 2005 (http://bch-cbd.naturalsciences.be/belgium/cooperation/partnership/formregionalburundi/formbur2005.htm)
have been organised.
There has been cooperation with Bulgaria on the development of a metadata
tool, with the Netherlands on their CHM partnership initiative, with the
European Community on their CHM, and with Germany. In June 2003, a meeting has
been organised in Belgium on practical cooperation between national CHM's.
National focal points from eight European countries participated in the
meeting. Multilateral cooperation on project development and training has been
undertaken with the South Asian Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP),
the 'Commission des Ministres en charge des Forêts en Afrique Centrale'
(COMIFAC) and the Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas in
The Belgian Focal Point to the GTI has recently (2001) been assigned to the
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels, the largest of
Belgium's federal natural history institutions. This NFP has, ever since it
became fully operational back in 2004, been actively seeking cooperation and
benefit sharing with other contracting parties to the CBD and this mainly
through a pragmatic capacity building programme. It does so in joint
cooperation with other competent Belgian taxonomic bodies (such as the RMCA,
the NBGB and the BCCM, a.o.). The Belgian programme operates through two
parallel, but complementary approaches (the top-down and the bottom-up; see
below) and ensures individual and institutional cooperation that aim at
conservation and sustainable use of the fundamental components of biodiversity
(from genes to ecosystems), however with as central axis the recognition of
the only fundamental unit in nature: the species. More information on
Belgium's capacity building programme in taxonomy can be retrieved from the
Belgian NFP's website, located at: http://bch-cbd.naturalsciences.be//belgium/cooperation/projects/gti/eligible.htm
Here it suffices to highlight some of its first results (see also Franklin
& Van Goethem 2004, Franklin et al., submitted, Samyn et al., submitted
Individual support: in 2004, through two open calls, 51 capacity building
proposals have been received by the Belgian Focal Point to the GTI (11
following the first and 40 following the second call). These were
geographically distributed over the African (24), the Asian (18) and the South
and Central American (6) developing regions. Of these 51 projects, the Belgian
Focal Point to the GTI selected eighteen projects for direct, individual
support (9 from Africa, 6 from Asia and 3 from South & Central America).To
date (June 2005), twelve visitors have benefited from non-taxon specific as
well as taxon specific training in taxonomy. One additional candidate will
benefit from a capacity building visit to Belgium later this year (July to mid
August) and at least five other selected candidates (together with some ten,
largely externally funded, other candidates) will benefit from a regional
training workshop in Thailand (on the taxonomy of Rotifera and Echinodermata).
To ensure durability of training received in Belgium, the GTI tutor or
equivalent (dependent on the taxon), also has the possibility to carry out
follow-up training visits in the developing country. For instance, the Belgian
GTI tutor assisted by independently funded colleagues from the RBINS and from
the RMCA, carried out two visits (November 2004 and May 2005) to a developing
country that actively requested complementary field-training (the Comoros, on
Holothuroidea i.e. sea cucumbers). The latter support has resulted not only in
an increased understanding of the taxonomy of sea cucumbers, but also in the
arming of a local Focal Point (Point focal holothuries) that now has the
scientific weapons and ammunition to feed forward jurisdiction for the
conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The latter Focal Point has
for example succeeded in pushing a strict governemental interdiction of sea
cucumber fisheries in the Comoros (decree nr. 0413/MDRPAE/CAB, dated
Institutional support: to date (June 2005) institutional support is given
mainly through in-situ capacity building projects. Three one-year projects
have directly been funded by the Belgian GTI in 2004 (Taxonomy of rodents in
DR Congo, Entomology in Cambodia and Herpetofauna in Guyana). These projects
have been allocated a one-year extension in 2005, exactly to ensure that
sustainability of first results be assured for the better and larger benefit
of the local scientific, and in the long term economic, community. These
projects boost understanding of ecosystem function through transmitting,
transforming, increasing and challenging knowledge at the taxo-systematic
level. This allows to respond with more vigour to open questions in
evolutionary biology (e.g. speciation, extinction), ecology (e.g. carrying
capacity, redundancy, biodiversity estimates), conservation biology (e.g.
setting conservation priorities), biogeography (e.g. ecological and historical
biogeography, consequence of alien, invasive species). In short, by rendering
local scientists and their respective institutions more operable in terms of
taxonomy sensu lato, conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity can be
more readily obtained.
More information on the capacity building efforts of the Belgian GTI NFP is
to be found in:
- Franklin, A. & Van Goethem, J.L. (eds), 2004. Report on Implementation
of Programme of Work for the Global Taxonomy Initiative. Royal Belgian
Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels, 25 pp.
- Franklin A., Segers H., Samyn Y., Réveillon A., Van Goethem J.L. 2005
(submitted). Taxonomic capacity and implementation of the Global Taxonomy
Initiative in Belgium. Proceedings of the Workshop 'Building Capacity for the
Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI) in a larger Europe', Vilm, Germany,
- Samyn Y., Réveillon A., Franklin A. & Van Goethem J.L. 2005a
(submitted). One Year of Taxonomic Capacity Building by the Belgian Focal
Point to the Global Taxonomy Initiative. Proceedings of the 3rd GBIF Science
Symposium, Brussels, 18-19.04.2005.
- Samyn Y., Réveillon A., Franklin A. & Van Goethem J.L. 2005b
(submitted). Le renforcement des capacités en taxonomie: résultats obtenus
après une année de travail au Point focal belge pour l'Initiative
taxonomique mondiale. Proceedings of the symposium 'Ecosystèmes côtiers de
l'Afrique de l'Ouest'.
Several references in other sections of this national report are made to
Belgian Development Cooperation support to biodiversity programmes in other
countries. In summary these are:
- support to the Wetland strategic plan, Uganda;
- MIKE-UNEP project, (Africa unspecified);
- sustainable management of Kilombero 'Ramsar' site, Tanzania;
- 'Plan Binacional', Ecuador & Peru;
- sustainable management by communities in the buffer zone of Selous game
- community support to promote biodiversity in the World Heritage Site of the
Democratic Republic of Congo.
10. Is your country working with other Parties to develop regional,
subregional or bioregional mechanisms and networks to support implementation
of the Convention? (decision VI/27 A)
b) No, but consultations are under way
c) Yes, some mechanisms and networks have been established (please provide
d) Yes, existing mechanisms have been strengthened (please provide details
Further comments on development of regional, subregional or bioregional
mechanisms and networks to support implementation of the Convention.
Multilateral cooperation on project development and training has been
undertaken with the 'South Asian Co-operative Environment Programme', the
'Commission des Ministres en charge des Forêts en Afrique Centrale' (COMIFAC)
and the 'Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas in the
Mediterranean'.Participation in regional and sub-regional mechanisms which
contribute to the implementation of the Convention involves a variety of
mechanisms at a variety of levels. These include activities in the framework
of transboundary projects (INTERREG, LIFE-Nature) for area specific nature
conservation planning that supports implementation of the CBD. Within the
European Union there is the cooperation in the framework of the Habitats and
Birds Directives and the Biodiversity Expert Groups involved in the
implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans.
At the Pan-European regional level, there is a participation in the range
of activities of the Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy
process (PEBLDS), which is recognised as a regional implementation of CBD.
In the framework of the Benelux Union:
- the 'Plan de Base Ecologique et Paysager Transfrontalier' and the 'Grensoverschrijdend
Ecologisch Basisplan' (see question 6);
- the working group on environmental communication and education;
- the 'Three Countries Parc
- Open space without borders' (see question 6).
The Nature Directors of the three Benelux countries regularly meet to agree on
joint positions in relation to European and international issues on nature.
11. Is your country taking steps to harmonise national policies and
programmes, with a view to optimising policy coherence, synergies and
efficiency in the implementation of various multilateral environment
agreements (MEAs) and relevant regional initiatives at the national level?
b) No, but steps are under consideration
c) Yes, some steps are being taken (please specify below) X
d) Yes, comprehensive steps are being taken (please specify below)
Further comments on the harmonisation of policies and programmes at the
Belgian environmental policy coherence is ensured by a strong coordination
of international, European and national environmental policy which involves
the following structures: Inter-ministerial Conference for Environment (ICE),
Coordination Committee for International Environmental Policy (CCIEP),
Steering Committees of CCIEP (Biodiversity, Nature, Forests, Agriculture,
Water, Soil, Climate, North Sea & Oceans, Atmosphere, Waste, …),
Directorate General for Europe, Consultation Committee for Desertification,
National Climate Commission, Interdepartmental Commission on Sustainable
Development.One single Focal Point (either one Region or the Federal level)
has been designated to coordinate sharing of information for the various
global agreements (CITES, CMS, Ramsar, WHC, UNFCCC, UNCBD, UNCCD, UNFF, UNCLOS)
and regional agreements (Bern, AEWA, ASCOBANS, EUROBATS, OSPAR, LANDSCAPE,
MCPFE, PEBLDS (Emerald network), EU Birds directive, EU Habitats directive, EU
Regulation on CITES).
Contact points in Belgium for international nature- and
biodiversity-related agreements, organisations and programmes are available on
the B CHM at the following URL:http://bch-cbd.naturalsciences.be/belgium/biodiversity/contactpoints/contact_points.htm.
National efforts to improve synergies among MEA's in general, the
biodiversity conventions and the Rio conventions are undertaken:
- although the mechanism for policy coordination is well established in
Belgium (partly due to the repartition of environmental competencies between
the Federal government and the three Regions), there are no real coordination
mechanisms to also ensure coherence in the implementation of projects under
the three Rio conventions and the MEA's in general. Only now processes are
being developed to ensure coherence in implementation under the three Rio
- this lack has been identified by the Steering Groups for both
biodiversity and climate and a decision was taken by the Steering Group for
Greenhouse Effect to investigate possibilities to develop an ad hoc group
synergies to ensure the coordination among the Belgian actors involved in
implementing the three conventions, in both national and international
projects. It should bring together experts from different steering groups. One
of the issues that will be looked at by this group will be the development of
a list of criteria that can be used by the different actors involved in
projects on climate, biodiversity and/or desertification. Screening against
these criteria will improve understanding of linkages among these issues and
- more specifically, the forest policy in the three regions is based on the
principle of multifunctionality of forests. This principle implies that forest
policy has to be based on an integrated approach. International commitments
are taken into account when forest policy is being developed and implemented.
The way in which this is actually carried out can vary according to the issues
at hand. Systems of policy planning involve different actors and stakeholders,
from official side as well as from major groups and stakeholders. This means
that a broad range of views and issues are being tabled and taken on board
when policy initiatives are being prepared and implemented.
In 2004, the
Flemish Region initiated, organised and co-financed a workshop (in Haasrode)
for harmonisation and streamlining biodiversity reporting under the MEA's.
Please elaborate below on the implementation of this strategy specifically
a) outcomes and impacts of actions taken;
b) contribution to the achievement of the goals of the Strategic Plan of the
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.