As decided during the Council of Minister of the 20 October 2016
On the proposal of the Minister of the Environment Christine Marie Marghem, the Council of Ministers approved a draft law on the cooperation agreement between the federal state, the communities and regions on prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species.
This cooperation agreement is part of the implementation of European Regulation (No 1143/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October) concerning the management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species.
Of the 12,000 alien species that can be found within the European Union, the European Commission estimated that about 1200 are problematic as negatively impacting biodiversity, human health or the economy. The scope of the Regulation is very broad and covers terrestrial species, marine, estuarine and freshwater intentionally or unintentionally introduced into the territory of the EU via human intervention. The majority of the provisions of the Regulation requires coordinated action at the Belgian level, which is necessary to ensure consistency but also the effectiveness of the implementation of the measures prescribed by the regulation.
The Interministerial Conference of Environment approved the draft cooperation agreement on July 6, 2016.
To ensure the coordination of tasks, three new instances are created:
-The National Committee on invasive alien species (in which the different Belgian actors discuss the Belgian positions related to EU regulations on invasive species and their implementation in Belgium; of which Dr Sonia Vanderhoeven -science expert of the Belgian Biodiversity Platform- is an observer)
-The National Science Council on invasive alien species (which has the role of validating the information coming from Belgium and transferred to the EU institutions; of which Dr Sonia Vanderhoeven -science expert of the Belgian Biodiversity Platform- is an active member)
-The National Scientific Secretariat on invasive alien species (which will be running from January 2017).
The draft will be put to the agenda of the consultative committee and forwarded for opinion to the State Council.