Environment of Belgium

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The environment of Belgium is affected by the high population density in most of the country. Water quality suffers from a relatively low percentage of sewage wastewater treatment and from historical pollution accumulated in sediments. Air quality is affected by emissions from traffic and house heating. Biodiversity is low because of destruction and fragmentation of habitats. In the Pilot 2006 Environmental Performance Index, Belgium was ranked lowest of the EU member countries for overall environmental performance.[1]

Since the 1993 State Reform, the environment is a regional responsibility, with the Flemish, Walloon and Brussels-Capital Regions responsible for environmental matters in their respective territories. This has led to differences in legislation and separation of measurements and publication of statistics.

Air[edit]

In Flanders, emission of non-methane-VOC has decreased from 200 kton in 1990 to around 100 kton in 2006, because of lower emissions from transport and industry. These two however remain the most important VOC polluters.[2]

Particulate matter emissions and environmental concentrations have decreased since 1995, but little improvement is visible since 2000. European Union targets for average daily PM10 concentrations in 2005 have not been met and a significant increase was seen in 2006 compared to 2005. The problem is mostly situated in cities and industrial areas.[2]

Total acidifying emissions have decreased very rapidly since 1990, but NOx still remains a problem. Half of NOx emissions are due to transport.[2]

Photo-chemical air pollution remains a problem. On hot summer days, ozone levels frequently surpass EU targets. In 2006, the average was 6970 ug/m3 while the EU target is 5800 ug/m3.[2]

Greenhouse gas emissions have fallen from 90 Mton CO2-eq in 2003 to 85 Mton CO2-eq in 2006. The Kyoto target for Flanders is 82.5 Mton during the period 2008-2012.[2]

Water[edit]

The water has many types of fascinating sea creatures, as in starfish, horse-shoe crabs, and turtles.In the low lands, there are beautiful low water rocky places. A place to relax or for kids to have fun and collect the wonderful starfish that live in the lowlands.Also in the coast of Belgium, it is somewhat like Venice Italy. A city on water ( Bruges ). Water on the coast has changed the way they built the buildings. The coast was also very good for trading Belgium carpets, metal, and beer.

Soil[edit]

  • Polluted grounds

Noise[edit]

  • Noise hinder

Biodiversity[edit]

Following the approach of the Netherlands, a Red List was created for Belgium.

In regards to the native fish species, a list can be found here. At present, 8 of the 12 migratory fish (found in Belgium's rivers) are threatened. These include Coregonus oxyrinchus, Coregonus lavaretus, Alosa alosa, Acipenser sturio, Petromyzon marinus, Salmo salar, Alosa fallax, Salmo trutta trutta [3]

Protected areas[edit]

The pan-European ecological network Natura 2000 covers 428908 hectares in Belgium, representing 12.6% of the land area and 12% of the territorial waters.[4]

Hoge Kempen National Park, the first national park in Belgium, was opened in 2006.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pilot 2006 Environmental Performance Index - Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy and Columbia University Center for International Earth Science Information Network
  2. ^ a b c d e Marleen Van Steertegem (2007). MIRA-T 2007 Indicatorraport. Aalst: Vlaamse Milieumaatschappij. 
  3. ^ Verrekijker magazine, september 2012
  4. ^ "Protected areas". Convention on Biological Diversity - Belgian Clearing House Mechanism. Retrieved 2008-06-20. 
  5. ^ "First National Park opened – Milestone for Belgium’s Countdown 2010". countdown2010. 2006-03-23. Retrieved 2008-09-18.