Can policy make a difference? Flanders’ nature outlook. kunnen beleidskeuzes het verschil maken?

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    Abstract

    The EU has missed its 2010 target of halting biodiversity decline. A continuing challenge is to develop realistic strategies to stop this decline.Flanders is densely populated and autonomous socio-economic development dominates the main land-use changes. Question is if nature conservation measures can counteract and which measures would return highest benefit. We evaluated six policy scenarios. The impact of
    the autonomous socio-economic development is combined with two environmental (abiotic) scenarios. Compared to the ‘Business-as-usual’, the Europe scenario takes all measures necessary to achieve European environmental targets. These two environmental scenarios are combined with three nature conservation scenarios. Under the ‘Separation’ scenario,
    nature policy is to a large extend separated from other land use (e.g. focuses on nature reserves).
    Under the ‘Integration’ scenario, the interests of nature and other land uses are closely knit (multifunctional). The ‘Reference’ scenario depends to a large extend on local management initiatives.A budget constraint makes that all six scenario’s will cost the same amount of money. The target year is 2030.
    Our model showed that urban sprawl persists in the future and many small remnants of open
    space will disappear. However, due to decreasing agricultural development, the area of land used for agriculture will drop, creating new opportunities
    for nature expansion. Under the European environmental scenario, nitrogen deposition declines and habitats sensitive to eutrophication can reach
    European conservation goals more easily than under ‘Business-as-usual’. Climate changes may
    hamper the positive development due to changes in temperature and precipitation. Each nature policy scenario demonstrates specific benefits. The Separation’ scenario mainly benefits heath- and marshland species, including many species of European interest. On the other hand, farmland species benefit more from the ‘Integration’ scenario. The ‘Reference’ scenario returns more opportunities for meadow birds and forest species.For more information see: www.natureoutlook.be.
    Original languageDutch
    JournalDe Levende Natuur: tijdschrift voor Natuurbehoud en Natuurbeheer
    Volume5
    Pages (from-to)191-195
    Number of pages5
    ISSN0024-1520
    Publication statusPublished - Sep-2011

    Thematic list

    • Scenario reporting

    EWI Biomedical sciences

    • B003-ecology

    Policy

    • nature policy

    Geographic list

    • Flanders

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