National Target

  published: 10 May 2019

Objective 10.3 - All climate change, biodiversity and desertification cooperation projects funded by Belgium should be assessed to ensure that they are mutually supportive of the objectives of the three Rio conventions.


The three Rio conventions address a number of common substantive and procedural issues. For example, measures to reduce negative impacts from deforestation are relevant to the implementation of the three conventions. Each of these conventions calls for capacity-building, scientific and technical cooperation, the development of specific national plans and strategies, periodic reporting, etc.

The rising impact of climate change on biodiversity as well as the effects of some actions to combat climate change may be relevant to the objectives of the CBD. On the other hand, protection of biodiversity can contribute to climate change mitigation (healthy forests, peat lands and other habitats can limit atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations by storing carbon) and can protect against natural hazards aggravated by climate change.

Desertification has significant impacts on biodiversity. It leads to decreasing soil productivity, has an impact on the hydrological cycle, has the potential to cause local extinction of wild species, etc.

It is important to check that projects initiated by Belgium are in line with the objectives and recommendations of the three Rio conventions. Indeed, numerous climate change, biodiversity or desertification projects face challenges beyond those of a single sector project.

For example, initiatives such as reforestation, adaptation and Clean Development Mechanism projects, as foreseen in the Kyoto Protocol in the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, may have significant impacts on biodiversity and should be designed to enhance biodiversity or, at least, avoid negative impacts on biodiversity (for example by planting multiple species of native trees rather than monospecific plantations of exotic species). Supporting biodiversity to adapt to climate change is fundamental as well as enhancing positive effects of climate change mitigation measures to strengthen biodiversity’s resilience. But preventing and minimising potential negative impacts from certain climate change mitigation measures are as important, such as promotion and development of bio fuels and other forms of renewable energy sources. The external dimension of the relation between climate change and biodiversity should therefore be emphasised.

Therefore, Belgium will develop mechanisms to assess that projects initiated in the framework of one of the Rio conventions are in line with the requirements of the other two.

Level of application
National / Federal