OD Natural Environment



News - Marine mammals in Belgium in 2021

In the new report 'Strandings and sightings of marine mammals in Belgium in 2021', the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, SeaLife Blankenberge and the University of Liège compile the results of monitoring and scientific research on marine mammals in Belgium in 2021. The doubling of the number of seals washed ashore dead, often perished in fishing nets, was the most remarkable finding.

News - 22 species added to the European list of invasive alien species

A third update of the list of invasive alien species of European concern (the European List) has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 13 July 2022. This update adds 22 new species, both plants and animals, to the European list, that already included 66 species for which the EU Member States must limit the negative impact to the extent possible.

News - Experts predict top emerging impacts on ocean biodiversity over next decade

Co-location of marine activities, lithium extraction from the deep sea, overfishing of deeper-water species, and the unexpected ocean impacts of wildfires and of new biodegradable materials are among fifteen issues experts warn we ought to be addressing now.

An international team of experts has produced a list of 15 issues that are not currently receiving widespread attention but are likely to have a significant impact on marine and coastal biodiversity over the next decade (see Annex for full list).

News - Market value underestimates the total value of nature

News - 50,000 wild species meet the needs of billions worldwide - Experts provide options for sustainable use

On 8 July 2022, the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) published the new Sustainable Use of Wild Species Assessment Report. It summarises the feasibility and options for sustainable use of wild species of algae, animals, fungi and plants on land, in freshwater and in the oceans worldwide.

Viva Belgica

News - Video: Expedition Inkanamongo - In search of the source of zoonoses in DR Congo

Biologist Nicolas Laurent and his research team go on an expedition to the Democratic Republic of Congo, to the remote village of Inkanamongo. The goal: find viruses in mammals to investigate how biodiversity loss affects the emergence of zoonotic diseases such as Ebola, Monkeypox, and those linked to Coronaviruses.



News - Marine mammals in Belgium in 2020

In a new report, the RBINS summarises the results of the monitoring and research of marine mammals in Belgium in 2020. Relatively few harbour porpoises washed ashore, while seals continued to gain a foothold. A minke whale, two Sowerby’s beaked whales and a leatherback turtle can be considered unusual guests.

As usual, the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) has published an annual report on strandings and observations of marine mammals and other protected marine species in Belgium. It summarises the results of research and monitoring in 2020.

News - Plastic pollution in the Belgian North Sea

More than three quarters of all waste in the Belgian North Sea consists of macroplastics (larger particles of plastic waste), and this is a major source of pollution, especially in the coastal zone. Plastic fibers, mostly from dolly rope (plastic fibers attached to trawling nets), can be found everywhere, even at a distance from the coast. Smaller plastic particles or microplastics of >50 µm (one-twentieth of a mm) also appear to turn up much more frequently along the coastal strip and in ports than further out to sea.

News - Dive into the future at brand-new exhibition Sea Force

As of this summer, Mechelen is the place to be for an extraordinary day out by the sea. As of the beginning of July, Technopolis will be opening Sea Force, a brand-new exhibition where one moment you imagine yourself to be on the coast, the next moment at the bottom of the sea and not much later in the port of the future. And all that thanks to fine examples of technology. Sea Force is the first exhibition in Technopolis where, in an immersive digital environment, you are truly immersed in a future where science and technology are central.


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