Objective 1.2 - Identify and monitor priority species, habitats, genetic and functional components of biodiversity
Once a common methodology to identify components of biodiversity that need urgent protective measures has been agreed, lists of priority habitats, species and genetic components will be drawn up. Threatened species and ecosystems should benefit from adequate long-term policy, and the restoration of degraded habitats should favour the protection of threatened and rare species as well as the re-establishment of species that had disappeared from our country. Particular attention will be paid to wetlands that are under serious threat.
From the species conservation point of view, the loss of local populations implies a loss of genetic diversity, which in turn may result in a loss of resilience to environmental change, i.e. the ability to offer resistance to, or recover from, natural and human-induced pressures.
Lists of most sensitive (threatened, vulnerable and rare) species and ecosystems which need particular attention (included in Natura 2000 at EU level) will be used and adapted to the Belgian context. It is also important to take the specificity of Belgian ecosystems/species into account and to identify the elements of biodiversity that are rare, particularly threatened with extinction, vulnerable or of particular importance (for ecosystem functioning; symbolic importance; cultural importance) at the Belgian level. Belgian regional and national red lists of threatened species already exist and could be used for this compilation of priority species. For the marine environment, a list of priority species and habitats has been developed in an international framework (OSPAR). National red lists and related synthetic indicators are very useful for example for reporting to the EU, OECD and IUCN and other organisations.
Regional or maritime red lists are ad hoc constructed by specialists and Citizen Scientist groups on an irregular basis (about every 10 years for every group of species) as a side product of regional species atlases