TEN YEARS AFTER RIO: WHAT FUTURE FOR BIODIVERSITY IN BELGIUM?
Belgium celebrated the International Day for Biological Diversity 2002 by organising a one-day symposium on biodiversity and sustainable development in Belgium. The symposium evaluated the implementation in Belgium of engagements taken at Rio and underlined the importance of biological diversity for sustainable development.
The first part of the symposium presented existing instruments and actions taken for the conservation of biological diversity at EU and Belgian level. The second part started with an overview of the status of biodiversity in Belgium and ended with the presentation of case studies illustrating experiences of biodiversity integration in sectoral policies. Two guest speakers were invited to present successful experiences in neighbouring countries (France and UK).
The symposium was organised by the Federal Minister for the Environment, Federal State Commissioner for Scientific Research and the CBD National Focal Point. Participation was open to all, and more than 200 people attended the event. The audience was mostly composed of professionals of various sectors (nature conservation, agriculture, forestry, trade, etc.) and from a wide range of backgrounds (administrations, universities, NGOs, private sector, etc.).
More information can be found on the Belgian Clearing-House Mechanism
(programme, press release, abstracts of oral presentations, abstracts of posters, etc.).
In addition to the symposium, from 22 May 22 to 22 June 2002, biodiversity was given added consideration in the museum galleries of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. Visitors were able to discover threats encountered by animal species worldwide, through visiting the permanent exhibits and by taking part in the special guided tours on threatened animals. Short descriptive sheets, disseminated in the galleries indicated why certain animals became extinct and why others are currently vulnerable or are threatened of extinction. The announcement for the event can be found on the museum website at http://www.naturalsciences.be/museum/actus/