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Release date 24/09/2014

In the Walloon Region, the Directorate-General for Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment (DGARNE) of the Ministry of the Walloon Region is in charge of the conservation of nature, the environment (in particular waste), management and protection of the soil, as well as the exploitation of natural resources like water and forests in the Walloon Region. Within the DGARNE, various administrative divisions take care of the different missions:

  • Department of Nature and Forests. This department is responsible for the ecological management of the natural environment, including the Walloon forests. This department also initiates innovative projects for nature protection outside protected areas (for example, ecological management of roadsides) and grant subsidies to encourage biodiversity-restoring actions (for example, the planting of hedgerows). Four directorates supervise the implementation of the mission mentioned above: the Directorate for General Matters, the Directorate for Forest Resources, the Directorate for Nature, and the Directorate for Hunting and Fishery.
  • Department for Permits and Authorisations (including delivery of authorisations for confined use of GMOs).
  • the Walloon Office for Waste. This office is working on the prevention, the valorisation and the elimination of wastes in order to protect the environment.
  • the Department for Environment and Water. This division works among other things on the implementation of the Water Framework Directive, river contracts, restoration of aquatic habitats and riverbanks.
  • the Department for Environmental Policy and controls. This division investigates environmental criminal offences and follows the state of the environment (through indicators).
  • Scientific support is given by the 'Département de l'étude du Milieu Naturel et Agricole (DEMNA)
  • the Département de la Ruralité et des Cours d'eau (dealing with agri-environmental measures)
  • Scientific support is also given through research agreements with several universities.

The Nature Direction has been nominated as 'Belgian Regional Focal Point for Wallonia to the Convention on Biological Diversity'.

Besides the institutions above there are also several other departments and ministries that play a role in maintaining biodiversity in Belgium, for instance the 'Direction générale opérationnelle de l'Aménagement du territoire, du Logement, du Patrimoine et de l'Énergie (dealing with spatial planning), the Permanent Conference for Territorial Development (CPDT), the Direction générale opérationnelle de la Mobilité et des Voies hydrauliques (dealing with, for example, toad tunnels, tunnels for otters, fish ladders, management of the ‘RAVeL’ network).
Finally in this connection, we also need to mention the French and German Communities (dealing with environmental education).

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