National Target

  published: 07 May 2019

Objective 1 - Identify and monitor priority components of biodiversity in Belgium


In principle, the entire wealth of biodiversity should be subject to protection. It is however not feasible to concentrate efforts on all the elements of biodiversity. The Strategy will therefore focus the efforts where they are most needed, i.e. on components of biodiversity that are most at risk or could be subject to high risks in the near future. Priority components of biodiversity requiring the most urgent protective measures must be identified and their status monitored.

Priority components of biodiversity include (1) ecosystems and habitats that are unique, rare, in danger of disappearance, or that play a crucial role for priority species; (2) species that are rare, endangered, vulnerable, or that are endemic or live in specific habitats; (3) genomes and genes of particular social, scientific or economic importance; and (4) functional components of biodiversity that are essential for the provision of ecosystem services.

Adaptive management is concerned with the complex and dynamic nature of ecosystems and their uses and the absence of complete knowledge of their functioning. Because circumstances change and uncertainties are inherent in all managed uses of components of biodiversity, adaptive management is able to respond to uncertainties and it contains elements of “learning-by-doing” or research feedback. Monitoring is a key component of adaptive management.

Adequate monitoring, followed by regular reporting on status and trends of priority biodiversity components, is important. It allows adaptive management and decision-makers to develop adequate policy responses. It is also a prerequisite to communicate progress towards the 2020 targets to the public and stakeholders. Furthermore, it contributes to enhancing public awareness and participation. In order to avoid an additional reporting burden, the format of such reports should be streamlined in accordance with existing reporting obligations on biodiversity at European and CBD level.

A set of biodiversity indicators has already been adopted by the CBD to follow the implementation of the 2020 target (see box below). Several of these indicators have been tested and standardized at EU level by the European Environment Agency (set of EU headline biodiversity indicators, SEBI 2020 project) to monitor the state of biodiversity in Europe. The Member States are therefore asked to report annually to the EEA on these indicators.

Monitoring and reporting on the status of biodiversity in Belgium will need the development of suitable monitoring tools and indicators in line with the outcomes of the SEBI 2020 project (see also objective 7.3).

Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
Knowledge, the science base and technologies relating to biodiversity, its values, functioning, status and trends, and the consequences of its loss, are improved
Relevant documents and information

The stakeholders involved in the implementation of this objective are: the federal and regional authorities, the relevant sectors (agriculture, fishery, forestry), nature conservation agencies, universities, nature conservation NGOs, the Belgian Biodiversity Research Platform and any association working towards the same goal as the NBS.