In 2017, 12.8% of the Belgian land surface was a Natura 2000 protected area. To achieve the sustainable development goal by 2030, this figure must increase. The trend since 2010 is undetermined.
Natura 2000 protected land area - Belgium and international comparison
percentage of total land surface
|//: Average Growth Rates|
EEA (2018), Natura 2000 barometer statistics, http://www.eea.europa.eu/ (consulted on 31/07/2018).
Definition: this indicator represents the share of the Natura 2000 protected land area (under the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC - Official Journal of the European Union, 22/7/1992 - and/or the Birds Directive 79/409/EEC - Official Journal of the European Union, 25/4/1979) in the total area of the Belgian territory. The data come from the European Environment Agency.
It should also be noted that the Natura 2000 site is only part of the protected areas in Belgium. An indicator on the share of the protected site "through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures" (CBD, 2010) was calculated for the first time in Belgium, but the continuous monitoring is not yet organised (FPS Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment, 2017).
Goal: Natura 2000 protected land area must increase.
The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs adopted by the UN in 2015 include target 15.1: “By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements”
The Federal Long-Term Strategic Vision for Sustainable Development contains objective 37: “The goods and services provided by ecosystems will be restored, valorised and used prudently and sustainably, contributing directly to the maintenance of biodiversity” (Belgian Official Gazette, 08/10/2013).
The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity states that “by 2020, at least 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland waterways [...] are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems of protected areas (CBD, 2010).
International comparison: the share of the Natura 2000 protected land area in Belgium is below the EU28 average. Only four countries are performing weaker than Belgium (Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia and the United Kingdom).
UN indicator: the selected indicator is related to indicator 15.1.2 - Proportion of important sites for terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity that are covered by protected areas, by ecosystem type. The indicator represents a part of the protected area in Belgium, in the absence of a specific indicator on the protection of important areas for biological diversity.
SDGs, Sustainable Development Goals: United Nations (2015), Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September 2015, document A/RES/70/1.
Indicators: United Nations (2017), Work of the Statistical Commission pertaining to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 6 July 2017, document A/RES/71/313.
More information is available in FR (French) and NL (Dutch).