The path towards the target of reducing (or even stop) the loss of biodiversity is guided by a range of international and European agreements signed by the Belgian government.
Some of these agreements aim to protect species, such as the Washington Convention (CITES) and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS). Others are oriented towards the conservation of natural habitats and sites, such as the Ramsar Convention and the World Heritage Convention.
The Convention on Biological Diversity offers a general framework for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. It tackles multiple subjects such as
- thematic issues : biodiversity of agricultural lands, forests, mountains, islands, marine and coastal areas, dry and sub-humid lands and inland waters,
- cross-cutting issues : protected areas, exotic species, access to genetic resources and benefit sharing, traditional knowledge, sustainable use, education and public awareness, indicators, scientific and technical cooperation, etc.
In Belgium, the implementation of these agreements is conditioned by the complex political structure of the country. The competences linked to biodiversity are shared between the federal government, the regions and the communities. The regions however are the main actors in the design and execution of biodiversity policy.
This section of the website focuses on the Convention on Biological Diversity. The other international agreements will be briefly presented in a specific section.