Human activities are linked to biodiversity and the services it gives us, either directly or indirectly. We are constantly interacting with biodiversity, even if we do not live in the countryside. We enjoy the products and benefits of this biodiversity and sometimes of very distant ecosystems. This means that our actions and behaviours can also have an impact on these ecosystems, whether near or far.
All of us
citizens, businesses and authorities
have a role to play.
Citizens can obviously make day-to-day choices that will help to preserve biodiversity. But it is extremely complex! It is clear that businesses and the authorities must also take actions.
This is what we call “co-responsibility”.
Biodiversity affects us directly
As citizens, we live with biodiversity every day. In fact, we are this biodiversity. We are constantly interacting with it, whether through our clothes, our food, our lifestyle, our well-being or our homes.
Biodiversity is also the responsibility of businesses
Biodiversity is essential for the activity of businesses (directly or indirectly). Firstly, where they are located, as this location will have abundant biodiversity. But they also use this biodiversity in their infrastructures and their production or operating processes, through their procurement policies, etc. All these actions have an impact on biodiversity and the ecosystem services.
Businesses can introduce measures to allow more sustainable production and consumption methods. Areas to explore include the search for a more biodiversity-friendly sourcing of products and materials and the reduction and reuse of waste in the production cycle (“circular economy”).
There are a number of advantages in moving towards a more sustainable economy, particularly in sectors intended to reduce environmental damage.
Within the European Union, 14.6 million jobs are dedicated to (directly and indirectly) protecting biodiversity and replenishing natural resources such as forests.
What about public authorities?
Every level of the Belgian public authorities is already taking action to preserve biodiversity. Within the Federal State, the FPS Public Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment is responsible for biodiversity.
The State is committed to defending, maintaining and even replenishing Belgian and international biodiversity and to combating the threats against it, through its National Biodiversity Strategy.
In the Flemish Region, the INTERREG 2B Connect project aims to develop land and buildings in a series of pilot schemes, and to create a network of consultants specialised in supporting businesses. It includes a biodiversity review tool developed by the Province of Antwerp: the BIODIVA SCAN.
In the Brussels Capital Region, the Guide bâtiment durable (Sustainable building guide) and the “Resilience Design” Eco-innovation Toolkit for SMEs help Brussels organisations to take the environment into account, particularly biodiversity.
In the Walloon Region, the Réseau Wallonie Nature (Wallonia Nature Network) and “Entreprises Nature Admise” have adopted specific charters with volunteer businesses.
"#BeBiodiversity", an ambitious federal campaign
In launching the “#BeBiodiversity” campaign, the State is demonstrating its desire to move up a gear. The ambition on the one hand, is to give citizens-consumers the means to choose more biodiversity-friendly products and producers and, on the other hand, to inform businesses and help them take voluntary steps to preserve biodiversity and ecosystem services.
A tool for assessing the impact of raw materials on biodiversity
This decision-making tool is currently being built. The challenge is to create a scientifically validated approach to help businesses and public organisations quickly assess the impact of different land-based organic raw materials on biodiversity and make the best possible choices with regard to the preservation of this biodiversity.
Pilot schemes will support this process and will be showcased in communications about the project.
This website will be made available to businesses from 2019
A tool for helping businesses take action to preserve biodiversity
The FPS Public Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment, in collaboration with the Belgian regional authorities, has launched a major project to help businesses and public organisations take actions to promote biodiversity.
A website to identify potential actions to support biodiversity will be created in 2018, with the assistance of pioneering businesses. Four areas of intervention have been selected; these are land, infrastructures, processes and sourcing policies.
JOIN THE TEAM #BEBIODIVERSITY
We would like to work with volunteer businesses to create our tools, to ensure they are relevant and effective. These partner businesses will enjoy free expert advice and the support of our team in implementing these tools, whilst ensuring that they are suitable for their role. The businesses that work with us on this ambitious biodiversity project will be our “Pioneering Businesses”.