The province of Antwerp (Belgium) is a regional government that works on different policy domains. One of these domains is taking care of structural improvement of our living environment. We implement this task by working at different aspects of nature and landscape, biodiversity, environment, climate, water and public health. We want present and future generations to enjoy all facets of the province in a healthy and sustainable way.

Provincial Landscape Images Biodiversity

Counteract fragmentation for fauna and flora is an important task within the nature and landscape theme. We implement this task by use of our ‘provincial landscape images biodiversity’.

This project intends to facilitate the establishment of more high-quality green infrastructure beside improving existing green infrastructure in order to get functional green infrastructure networks in the landscapes outside nature reserves. These areas include industrial areas, agricultural landscapes, transport infrastructure, land property of a local government, private gardens, …  Because greening schools and companies, public green spaces, a more ecological management of gardens, building pools, building fauna passages, restoring networks of groves, wood sides and rows of trees, can provide a functional green-blue network in our province.

To create suited ‘provincial landscape images biodiversity’, the province of Antwerp was divided into 18 regions. For each of these regions a vision on green infrastructure was developed. To come to this vision, consultants analyzed the characteristics of the landscape of each region as well as the plant and animal species that use the landscape in this region to feed, to breed, … These landscape characteristics and the ecological needs the species have regarding green infrastructure, formed the basis to determine the measures that need to be taken in each region to increase biodiversity.

Now the images are used to communicate a landscape-scale vision on green infrastructure. Local stakeholders are brought together through local meetings because they are the necessary partners to translate the vision to the local level. The meetings form the bridge between policy and practice and initiate tailor-made plans and ideas.

   
  Example landscape image ‘Rupel, Zenne en Dijle’  

Each of the 18 provincial landscape images biodiversity consists of a typical image and a corresponding brochure with more background information. Everything can be found on this site.

By clicking on the overview map you can see directly in which landscape image you live.

2B Connect and BIODIVA

Another area where the province contributes to defragmentation is our active participation in the “2B Connect” project. Within this interregproject (2016 to 2019) 26 partners work on more biodiversity at business sites in the border region of Belgium – Netherlands. The green infrastructure that this project creates plays an important role as a natural connection for  plants and animals.

It also provides different instruments and trained advisors that helps companies to increase biodiversity at their sites in addition to realizing a biodiverse makeover in 10 selected areas. One of the instruments is the realization of a biodiversity scan tool “BIODIVA”. Through this tool, companies will understand what opportunities there are to work on biodiversity, both on site and within their business.

More info can be found on this site

Water buffer, Coeck ©province of Antwerp

Creating and advising

In addition to being active at the policy level, the province also has a team of experts (ecologists) that are working on projects in the field. Their work consists mainly of preparing all kinds of management plans (nature, forest, landscape, ...), concrete nature design projects and all kinds of advice services. Advice services to improve biodiversity and counteract fragmentation plus advice services to designing conductions to wildlife crossings and passages is one of the fields where the province is gaining expertise in.

Monitoring

To improve our expertise, we also invest in monitoring defragmentation measurements. Studying on recent developments together with partners like the university helps to give advise and create policy.

Red fox (Vulpes vulpes), Beech marten (Martes foina), Pine marten (Martes martes), Least weasel (Mustela nivalis) © province of Antwerp

Also students are given the opportunity to do internships and to work on projects. Like this e.g. monitoringprojects are set up and the efficiency of faunatunnels is investigated. New and different methods are tested like fykes, wildcams,...

By working in different ways with the provincial landscape images biodiversity we work principally on the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

Different Ecosystem Services apply like providing shadow, pollination, biodiversity, education, reducing noice pollination, wood production, infiltration, cooling, waterretention: