Belgian Biodiversity Policy Support Group

The Belgian Biodiversity Policy Support Group (BIOPOLS) is a biodiversity knowledge platform regrouping 5 different entities: the Belgian Biodiversity Platform (BBPf), the National Focal Point to the Convention on Biological Diversity (NFP-CBD), the Capacities for Biodiversity and Sustainable Development programme (CEBioS), the Conservation Biology research team (ConsBiol), and the Marine Ecology team (MARECO). Each of them is dealing with specific aspects of the biodiversity science-policy interface.

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The Belgian Biodiversity Platform (BBPF) offers a privileged access to primary biodiversity data and research information and encourages interdisciplinary cooperation among scientists and policy makers. It also serves as an interface between researchers and science policy organisations through the so-called Communities of Practice (Belgian Ecosystem Services, Invasive Alien Species and Biodiversity & Health). It advises on the designation of biodiversity research priorities and promotes Belgian biodiversity research at international fora. The platform is funded by BELSPO.

Many activities are undertaken under the umbrella of international Belgian obligations to the UN Rio Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The Belgian National Focal Point of this Convention supports the protection of biological diversity through different initiatives like the campaign “I give life to my planet” or special information actions such as on bees, by maintaining the Clearing House Mechanism (web-based information dissemination network) and by fostering collaboration amongst relevant stakeholders in biodiversity in Belgium.

The Capacities for Biodiversity and Sustainable Development programme (CEBioS), funded by the Belgian Cooperation, is carrying out capacity building for partners of the Belgian Cooperation in the field of biodiversity conservation and sustainable management linked to poverty eradication. It works in the framework of international obligations of Belgium under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the EU biodiversity strategy to 2020. Its activities include institutional cooperation with partner organisations, calls for proposals for short grants, workshops, trainings, policy support, dedicated projects, public awareness and publications.

Conservation biology is a relatively new, multidisciplinary science, developed in response to the biodiversity crisis, which endeavours to evaluate the impact of human activities on biodiversity and to design corrective measures. Drawing on the results of population biology, evolutionary science, ecology and ethology, conservation biology generates methodologies specifically adapted to the extinction risks of threatened species and to the detection and reversal of the degradation of communities of plants and animals. The Conservation Biology unit of the OD Nature has developed activities along these two axes.

MARECO covers several fields in marine ecology and management, focusing on nature conservation and sustainable use and exploitation of marine resources. MARECO develops marine ecological research and integrates scientific knowledge in a policy and management advisory setting.

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