Third National Report of Belgium
to the Convention on Biological Diversity


B. PRIORITY SETTING, TARGETS AND OBSTACLES

Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC)

The Conference of the Parties, in decision VI/9, annex, adopted the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation. Parties and Governments are invited to develop their own targets with this flexible framework. The Conference of the Parties considered the Strategy as a pilot approach for the use of outcome oriented targets under the Convention. In decision VII/10, the Conference of the Parties decided to integrate the targets into the reporting framework for the Third National Reports. Please provide relevant information by responding to the questions contained in the following tables.

Box XXIV.
Target 1. A widely accessible working list of known plant species, as a step towards a complete world flora.

I) Has your country established national target corresponding to the above global target?
a) Yes
b) No X

Please specify

A national target has not been established, but a complete and detailed list has been developed and is very regularly updated. Monitoring of the listed species takes place regularly in the Flemish and Brussels Capital Regions.

II) Has your country incorporated the above global or national target into relevant plans, programmes and strategies?
a) Yes
b) No

Please specify

The National Botanic Garden of Belgium is producing a database with scanned images of all nomenclatorial types for the flora of Africa south of the Sahara (API-project).

III) Current status (please indicate current status related to this target)

IV) Measures taken to achieve target (please indicate activities, legislative measures and other steps taken with a view to achieve the target)

The project on the African flora (see II) will be extended to all other Belgian herbaria.

V) Progress made towards target (please specify indicators used to monitor progress towards the target)

A project on the Belgian flora, inclusive alien species, should be completed and published within one year. A project on African flora should be completed and consultable on the Internet within three years.

VI) Constraints to achieving progress towards the target

VII) Any other relevant information

Box XXV.
Target 2. A preliminary assessment of the conservation status of all known plant species, at national, regional and international levels.

I) Has your country established national target corresponding to the above global target?
a) Yes X
b) No

Please specify

Flemish Region: to enhance the knowledge base on species, distribution atlases, updates of red lists and monitoring programmes form an important basis for the development of comprehensive species protection plans. The theme 'Biodiversity' in the Flemish Environment Policy Plan includes a species-specific programme with development of updates of red lists and distribution atlases over the planned period.

A red list of vascular plants has been developed. The list can be consulted at http://flora.instnat.be/flora. The list is being reviewed and updated for the moment to prepare an 'Atlas of the flora of the Flemish and Brussels Capital Regions', to be published at the end of the year.

Within the framework of the Brussels Capital Region monitoring programme on flora and fauna, an estimation of the conservation status of plant species of the region has been performed in 1998 on basis of observations from 1991-94. For the moment, a new plant inventory study is going on (2003-2006). These data will provide new information on the conservation status of plant species present in the Brussels Capital Region.

II) Has your country incorporated the above global or national target into relevant plans, programmes and strategies?
a) Yes
b) No X

Please specify

III) Current status (please indicate current status related to this target)

Legal instruments for the conservation of certain species exist at regional level.

IV) Measures taken to achieve target (please indicate activities, legislative measures and other steps taken with a view to achieve the target)

V) Progress made towards target (please specify indicators used to monitor progress towards the target)

VI) Constraints to achieving progress towards the target

VII) Any other relevant information

Information on the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation will be circulated to relevant stakeholders. A national conference is planned on 21.09.2005.

Box XXVI.
Target 3. Development of models with protocols for plant conservation and sustainable use, based on research and practical experience.

I) Has your country established national target corresponding to the above global target?
a) Yes X
b) No

Please specify

Flemish Region: the Institute of Nature Conservation is a member of Planta Europa. During the last meeting of Planta Europa (Valencia, 17-20.09.2004), the development of a list of Important Plant Areas was proposed to document and safeguard the floral biodiversity in Europe. This methodology has since then been acknowledged by the CBD. 

Walloon Region: the Nature and Forest Division requested the Research Centre on Nature, Forests and Wood as well as the Gembloux Agricultural University to search for and identify new seed-forming populations, not only of the principal wood essences but also of secundary essences, with the aim to increase the genetic diversity of the Walloon forest. For non-social species, parent plants have been identified for the conservation of plants of local origin. The Walloon Counter of Reproductional Forestry Material is in charge of the harvesting and distribution of this material to public and private plant-breeders and tree nurseries.

Brussels Capital Region: sustainable management of forests helps to protect specific forest flora.

The INIBAP Transit Centre at the Catholic University of Leuven (KULeuven) will have cryopreserved the entire FAO designated banana germplasm by 2007. This is the world reference centre for banana.

II) Has your country incorporated the above global or national target into relevant plans, programmes and strategies?
a) Yes
b) No

Please specify

III) Current status (please indicate current status related to this target)

A lot of experience exists within the sector of nature conservation organisations. Specific publications are available. Existing initiatives and knowledge should be listed.

Concerning the cryopreservation of the banana germplasm, about 550 accessions are frozen for the moment.

IV) Measures taken to achieve target (please indicate activities, legislative measures and other steps taken with a view to achieve the target)

For the cryopreservation of banana germplasm, financial sources are being secured via the World Bank, the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and the Global Crops Diversity Trust.

V) Progress made towards target (please specify indicators used to monitor progress towards the target)

VI) Constraints to achieving progress towards the target

Lack of space and funds.

VII) Any other relevant information

Developed protocols have proven to function also on strawberry, potato and chicorei. These are really crops of importance to Belgium and therefore efforts should be made to start cryocollections of these crops.

Box XXVII.
Target 4. At least ten percent of each of the world's ecological regions effectively conserved.

I) Has your country established national target corresponding to the above global target?
a) Yes X
b) No

Please specify

Nature and forest reserves only cover some 1.1% of the Belgian territory. The designation of areas in the framework of the Birds and Habitats Directives (Natura 2000) allows / will allow to increase this figure to about 13% of the territory.

II) Has your country incorporated the above global or national target into relevant plans, programmes and strategies?
a) Yes X
b) No

Please specify

Incorporated in legislation, programmes and strategies among others related to Natura 2000.

III) Current status (please indicate current status related to this target)

IV) Measures taken to achieve target (please indicate activities, legislative measures and other steps taken with a view to achieve the target)

V) Progress made towards target (please specify indicators used to monitor progress towards the target)

VI) Constraints to achieving progress towards the target

VII) Any other relevant information

Box XXVIII.
Target 5. Protection of fifty percent of the most important areas for plant diversity assured.

I) Has your country established national target corresponding to the above global target?
a) Yes X
b) No

Please specify

Natura 2000 is focusing on some vegetation types important for plant diversity such as peat bogs, alluvial forests, etc.

II) Has your country incorporated the above global or national target into relevant plans, programmes and strategies?
a) Yes
b) No

Please specify

III) Current status (please indicate current status related to this target)

IV) Measures taken to achieve target (please indicate activities, legislative measures and other steps taken with a view to achieve the target)

V) Progress made towards target (please specify indicators used to monitor progress towards the target)

VI) Constraints to achieving progress towards the target

VII) Any other relevant information

Box XXIX.
Target 6. At least thirty percent of production lands managed consistent with the conservation of plant diversity.

I) Has your country established national target corresponding to the above global target?
a) Yes
b) No X

Please specify

II) Has your country incorporated the above global or national target into relevant plans, programmes and strategies?
a) Yes
b) No

Please specify

III) Current status (please indicate current status related to this target)

IV) Measures taken to achieve target (please indicate activities, legislative measures and other steps taken with a view to achieve the target)

V) Progress made towards target (please specify indicators used to monitor progress towards the target)

VI) Constraints to achieving progress towards the target

VII) Any other relevant information

Box XXX.
Target 7. Sixty percent of the world's threatened species conserved in-situ.

I) Has your country established national target corresponding to the above global target?
a) Yes
b) No X

Please specify

Natura 2000 and the Bern Convention, among others, are contributing to this objective but cannot be regarded as specific targets for this.

II) Has your country incorporated the above global or national target into relevant plans, programmes and strategies?
c) Yes
d) No

Please specify

III) Current status (please indicate current status related to this target)

IV) Measures taken to achieve target (please indicate activities, legislative measures and other steps taken with a view to achieve the target)

V) Progress made towards target (please specify indicators used to monitor progress towards the target)

VI) Constraints to achieving progress towards the target

VII) Any other relevant information

Box XXXI.
Target 8. Sixty percent of threatened plant species in accessible ex-situ collections, preferably in the country of origin, and 10 percent of them included in recovery and restoration programmes.

I) Has your country established national target corresponding to the above global target?
a) Yes
b) No X

Please specify

II) Has your country incorporated the above global or national target into relevant plans, programmes and strategies?
a) Yes
b) No

Please specify

III) Current status (please indicate current status related to this target)

In April 2001, Botanic Gardens Conservation International launched the Action Plan for Botanic Gardens in the European Union. The goal of this plan is to provide an EU-wide regional framework and to promote the sharing of priorities and strategies in the future.

For the time being, the National Botanic Garden of Belgium is running a programme to make the holdings of six major collections accessible on the net.

IV) Measures taken to achieve target (please indicate activities, legislative measures and other steps taken with a view to achieve the target)

V) Progress made towards target (please specify indicators used to monitor progress towards the target)

The first phase of the programme concerns woody plants. If the project is prolonged (decision in November 2005), also the herbarium plants and some horticultural and agricultural collections will be taken into account.

VI) Constraints to achieving progress towards the target

VII) Any other relevant information

Box XXXII.
Target 9. Seventy percent of the genetic diversity of crops and other major socio-economically valuable plant species conserved, and associated indigenous and local knowledge maintained.

I) Has your country established national target corresponding to the above global target?
a) Yes
b) No X

Please specify

II) Has your country incorporated the above global or national target into relevant plans, programmes and strategies?
a) Yes
b) No

Please specify

III) Current status (please indicate current status related to this target)

The National Botanic Garden of Belgium holds a reference collection of wild Phaseolineae. In-situ gene banks for some fruit tree species exist and are partly databased.

IV) Measures taken to achieve target (please indicate activities, legislative measures and other steps taken with a view to achieve the target)

Discussions are ongoing to incorporate these data with the data already available for the ex-situ plant collections.

V) Progress made towards target (please specify indicators used to monitor progress towards the target)

VI) Constraints to achieving progress towards the target

VII) Any other relevant information

Box XXXIII.
Target 10. Management plans in place for at least 100 major alien species that threaten plants, plant communities and associated habitats and ecosystems.

I) Has your country established national target corresponding to the above global target?
a) Yes
b) No X

Please specify

Management plans have been established for black cherry (Prunus serotina) and floating pennywort (Hydrocotyle ranunculoides). Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) and giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) are eradicated in some nature reserves and public green spaces.

II) Has your country incorporated the above global or national target into relevant plans, programmes and strategies?
a) Yes
b) No

Please specify

III) Current status (please indicate current status related to this target)

A complete inventory of alien plant species was established and their status of invasiveness has been monitored.

IV) Measures taken to achieve target (please indicate activities, legislative measures and other steps taken with a view to achieve the target)

A management plan on Heracleum mantegazzianum will be presented to the authorities in September 2005.

V) Progress made towards target (please specify indicators used to monitor progress towards the target)

VI) Constraints to achieving progress towards the target

VII) Any other relevant information

Box XXXIV.
Target 11. No species of wild flora endangered by international trade.

I) Has your country established national target corresponding to the above global target?
a) Yes X
b) No

Please specify

Belgium is a Party to CITES. This target is consistent with the main purpose of CITES and the CITES Strategic Plan: 'No species of wild flora subject to unsustainable exploitation because of international trade'.

The first FPSD (2000-2004) mentions: 'enforcement of CITES will be strengthened so as to support the policy of biodiversity conservation (training experts, providing inspectors, intensifying controls)'.

II) Has your country incorporated the above global or national target into relevant plans, programmes and strategies?
a) Yes
b) No

Please specify

III) Current status (please indicate current status related to this target)

IV) Measures taken to achieve target (please indicate activities, legislative measures and other steps taken with a view to achieve the target)

V) Progress made towards target (please specify indicators used to monitor progress towards the target)

VI) Constraints to achieving progress towards the target

VII) Any other relevant information

Box XXXV.
Target 12. Thirty percent of plant-based products derived from sources that are sustainably managed.

I) Has your country established national target corresponding to the above global target?
a) Yes
b) No X

Please specify

II) Has your country incorporated the above global or national target into relevant plans, programmes and strategies?
a) Yes
b) No

Please specify

III) Current status (please indicate current status related to this target)

IV) Measures taken to achieve target (please indicate activities, legislative measures and other steps taken with a view to achieve the target)

V) Progress made towards target (please specify indicators used to monitor progress towards the target)

VI) Constraints to achieving progress towards the target

VII) Any other relevant information

Box XXXVI.
Target 13. The decline of plant resources, and associated indigenous and local knowledge, innovations and practices that support sustainable livelihoods, local food security and health care, halted.

I) Has your country established national target corresponding to the above global target?
a) Yes
b) No X

Please specify

The Belgian Development Cooperation funds a number of programmes that aim to support indigenous communities in partner developing countries, including the recovery and the promotion of traditional knowledge and practices. Most of those actions though are implemented through third actors such as NGO's, universities or multilateral organisations.

Barely little bilateral official cooperation provides direct support to indigenous and local knowledge, since such issue is not often taken up as a priority by the partner countries either in their national development and poverty reduction policies, or in their policy dialog with donor countries.

First Federal Plan for Sustainable Development (2000-2004): actions in support of local and indigenous communities will include: 
(1) the ratification of ILO Convention 169 (Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention); 
(2) support to the strategies of indigenous peoples for the conservation of their traditional territories and the restoration of their control over the management of their natural heritage; 
(3) initiatives for the international recognition of the collective intellectual property rights of indigenous peoples and local communities within the framework of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

II) Has your country incorporated the above global or national target into relevant plans, programmes and strategies?
a) Yes
b) No

Please specify

Out of 25, three country strategy papers (for Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia) explicitly incorporate the protection and/or the promotion of indigenous and traditional knowledge and practices in the priorities for the Belgian cooperation strategy.

III) Current status (please indicate current status related to this target)

IV) Measures taken to achieve target (please indicate activities, legislative measures and other steps taken with a view to achieve the target)

Belgium provides support to the protection and/or the promotion of indigenous and traditional knowledge and practices through funding NGO programmes and scientific institutes research programmes (e.g. CGIAR and affiliates) and the 'Fondo Indigena' for Andean countries

V) Progress made towards target (please specify indicators used to monitor progress towards the target)

There is no suitable indicator of progress available except spending figures.

VI) Constraints to achieving progress towards the target

The rights of indigenous people and communities and the rescue of their traditional knowledge and practices are often overlooked by the countries' national development and poverty reduction strategies, which set the priorities of our cooperation agenda.

VII) Any other relevant information

Cooperation through non-state third parties (NGO's, universities) is much more likely to reach this target. There also exists a specific budget line for direct support to local NGO's and communities. So far nonetheless, there is no support provided yet that specifically targets the protection of indigenous traditional knowledge and practice (in biodiversity).

Box XXXVII.
Target 14. The importance of plant diversity and the need for its conservation incorporated into communication, educational and public-awareness programmes.

I) Has your country established national target corresponding to the above global target?
a) Yes X
b) No

Please specify

The importance of plant diversity is incorporated in and addressed by communication, education and public awareness programmes on nature and biodiversity.

II) Has your country incorporated the above global or national target into relevant plans, programmes and strategies?
a) Yes X
b) No

Please specify

III) Current status (please indicate current status related to this target)

IV) Measures taken to achieve target (please indicate activities, legislative measures and other steps taken with a view to achieve the target)

The importance of plant diversity and the need for its conservation is incorporated into several programmes:

  • communication via brochures, leaflets, posters etc. (description of semi-natural sites and parks, description of walking tours, with special attention to present biodiversity and its need to protection);
  • educational programmes: regional centers for environmental and ecological education, green classes, organising training sessions, guided walks, information days or workshops on medicinal and comestible plants, a biodiversity interface on Belgium's natural treasures, plant fairs, etc. for children, adults, naturalists, others.

V) Progress made towards target (please specify indicators used to monitor progress towards the target)

VI) Constraints to achieving progress towards the target

VII) Any other relevant information

Box XXXVIII.
Target 15. The number of trained people working with appropriate facilities in plant conservation increased, according to national needs, to achieve the targets of this Strategy.

I) Has your country established national target corresponding to the above global target?
a) Yes
b) No X

Please specify

II) Has your country incorporated the above global or national target into relevant plans, programmes and strategies?
a) Yes
b) No

Please specify

III) Current status (please indicate current status related to this target)

IV) Measures taken to achieve target (please indicate activities, legislative measures and other steps taken with a view to achieve the target)

V) Progress made towards target (please specify indicators used to monitor progress towards the target)

VI) Constraints to achieving progress towards the target

VII) Any other relevant information

Box XXXIX.
Target 16. Networks for plant conservation activities established or strengthened at national, regional and international levels.

I) Has your country established national target corresponding to the above global target?
a) Yes
b) No X

Please specify

II) Has your country incorporated the above global or national target into relevant plans, programmes and strategies?
a) Yes
b) No

Please specify

III) Current status (please indicate current status related to this target)

The networks for in-situ plant conservation activities partly exist at regional level.

The Catholic University of Leuven has developed a European and intercontinental network on cryopreservation of many crops both in research, training and applications for long term use.

IV) Measures taken to achieve target (please indicate activities, legislative measures and other steps taken with a view to achieve the target)

V) Progress made towards target (please specify indicators used to monitor progress towards the target)

VI) Constraints to achieving progress towards the target

Concerning the cryopreservation activities at the KULeuven, it seems very difficult to find funding within Belgium for these activities.

VII) Any other relevant information

Box XL.
Please elaborate below on the implementation of this strategy 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.

In the coming months, an inventory will be made of our knowledge and existing actions in connection to the Global Strategy on Plant Conservation. On the basis of the outcome of the inventory, possible actions will be discussed with the appropriate authorities. In September 2005, an effort will be made (e.g. through press releases) to raise awareness for the GSPC at national and regional level.

 

 
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