Environment of Belgium
The environment of Belgium is affected by the high population density in most of the country. Water quality suffers from a relatively low percentage of sewage wastewater treatment and from historical pollution accumulated in sediments. Air quality is affected by emissions from traffic and house heating. Biodiversity is low because of destruction and fragmentation of habitats. In the Pilot 2006 Environmental Performance Index, Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 was ranked lowest of the EU member countries for overall environmental performance..

Since the 1993 State Reform
State reform in Belgium
The term State reform in the Belgian context indicates a process towards finding constitutional and legal solutions for the problems and tensions between the different segments of the Belgian population, mostly Dutch-speakers of Flanders and French-speakers of Wallonia...

, the environment is a regional responsibility, with the Flemish
Flemish Region
The Flemish Region is one of the three official regions of the Kingdom of Belgium—alongside the Walloon Region and the Brussels-Capital Region. Colloquially, it is usually simply referred to as Flanders, of which it is the institutional iteration within the context of the Belgian political system...

, Walloon and Brussels-Capital Regions responsible for environmental matters in their respective territories. This has led to differences in legislation and separation of measurements and publication of statistics.


In Flanders, emission of non-methane-VOC has decreased from 200 kton in 1990 to around 100 kton in 2006, because of lower emissions from transport and industry. These two however remain the most important VOC polluters.

Particulate matter emissions and environmental concentrations have decreased since 1995, but little improvement is visible since 2000. European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 targets for average daily PM10 concentrations in 2005 have not been met and a significant increase was seen in 2006 compared to 2005. The problem is mostly situated in cities and industrial areas.

Total acidifying emissions have decreased very rapidly since 1990, but NOx still remains a problem. Half of NOx emissions are due to transport.

Photochemical air pollution remains a problem. On hot summer days, ozone levels frequently surpass EU targets. In 2006, the average was 6970 ug/m3 while the EU target is 5800 ug/m3.

Greenhouse gas emissions have fallen from 90 Mton CO2-eq in 2003 to 85 Mton CO2-eq in 2006. The Kyoto
is a city in the central part of the island of Honshū, Japan. It has a population close to 1.5 million. Formerly the imperial capital of Japan, it is now the capital of Kyoto Prefecture, as well as a major part of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area.-History:...

 target for Flanders is 82.5 Mton during the period 2008-2012.


Following the approach of the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, a Red List was created for Belgium.

Protected areas

The pan-European ecological network Natura 2000
Natura 2000
Natura 2000 is an ecological network of protected areas in the territory of the European Union.-Origins:In May 1992, the governments of the European Communities adopted legislation designed to protect the most seriously threatened habitats and species across Europe. This legislation is called the...

 covers 428908 hectares in Belgium, representing 12.6% of the land area and 12% of the territorial waters.

Hoge Kempen National Park
Hoge Kempen National Park
The Hoge Kempen National Park is the first National Park in the Flemish Region in Belgium. It is located in the East of the Province of Limburg, between Genk and the Meuse Valley....

, the first national park
National park
A national park is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or owns. Although individual nations designate their own national parks differently A national park is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or...

in Belgium, was opened in 2006.
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