SELNAT: How to make Natura 2000 work properly? Socio-economic, legal & ecological management



Biodiversity is the complex diversity of living creatures, encompassing
diversity within species (genetic), between species and in ecosystems
and is hence essential for the stability and resilience of ecosystems.
The conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity is therefore an
essential component in sustainable development.

However, as a result of increasing human pressure on land during the
last decades, biodiversity has declined, threatening to undermine
environmental, economic and social benefits. In order to stop
fragmentation (of habitats, populations and genotypes) and thus to halt
biodiversity loss, the EU has built NATURA 2000, an ecological network
of protected areas. However, many different users are present in this
landscape and conflicts between interests may arise.

Project description


The EU legislation forces member states to «maintain or restore, at
favourable conservation status, natural habitats and species taking
into account economic, social and cultural requirements, regional and
local characteristics». Thus, the main objective of this project is to
perform an effectiveness analysis of integrated management of Natura
2000-sites. In order to be able to evaluate this effectiveness, we need
to define this aim precisely. “Working properly” means the development
of efficient management of nature areas that is robust and contributes
to sustainable development (of local communities).

The ultimate goal of the SELNAT research project is then to attend
decision-makers on the economic, social, and environmental consequences
of biodiversity changes and to guide them in the development of more
adequate and sustainable policies for the management of Natura
2000-sites. Moreover, integrated strategies are more likely to be
supported by local stakeholders.


A system analysis of the complexity of biodiversity loss and reach of
discipline-transcendent bottlenecks is performed with an integrated
model: the SCENE model. It distinguishes three forms of
sustainability-capital: SoCial, Environmental and Economic. It was
developed as a support tool for the analysis of regional sustainable
development. The model is composed out of stocks and flows. Each
capital domain contains a number of stocks (such as ‘quality of life’
(social), ‘environmental quality’ (ecological), or ‘economic vitality’
(economic)). The main criterium for the inclusion of a specific stock
is its relevance for research. Relationships between the different
stocks are called ‘flows’.

From this system analysis, basic and general management strategies are
developed for a Walloon and Flemish Natura 2000-site. In an iterative
process, strategies are presented to a group of local and non-local
stakeholders and tested for robustness. The feedback will allow us to
fine-tune the measures on different aspects and specify details. From
here, a final management strategy for each of the sites will be

To assess the final strategies, the Ecosystem Approach will be used.
This is a new methodological approach, based on ecosystem and
stakeholders participation, which is recommended by COP of Convention
on biological diversity to tackle all kinds of problems of biodiversity
conservation. In this integrated resource management paradigm, ecology
and society are both important as both are essential parts of

Interaction between the different partners

Since interdisciplinarity is the basis of our research, close
interaction and communication between all partners is crucial.
Therefore, a projectweb is set up to allow exchange of documents and
information, with a forum and an important list of key terms,
facilitating communication between the various disciplines. Moreover,
frequent meetings are organised.

Expected results and/or products

The return of this project will be methodological at first, namely through the development of tools that enable to assess:

• the identification of land use types responsible for biodiversity
degradation through history and links between sustainable use of
territory and biodiversity goals

• the integral evaluation of (robustness of) measures concerning biodiversity;

• the contribution and limits of economic valuation of resources;

• the degree of public support for different management strategies;

• the complexity of legal aspects on Natura 2000;

Since the cases are situated in Natura 2000-territory, our results will
be directly useful for Ministries and NGO’s involved in environmental
protection. The results of the project will be valorised through
various actions such as scientific publications in journals. Through
disemmination of the original point of view of this project, we may
contribute to the definition of sustainable policies for biodiversity

A particular effort will be devoted to the communication of methodology
and results of this project to a more local audience, including the
actors involved in management and land use. This will imply
publications in regional journals. Next to the regular meetings of the
users committee, a workshop, open to a broad audience, can be organised
to stimulate interaction with and among potential users of the



Name: Jan Vincke, Greet Nulens and Stan Weyns

Institution: Resource Analysis NV

Activities Resource Analysis has gained a solid reputation as policy
adviser to various government agencies involved in natural resources
management. The company has developed a methodology for addressing
complex issues, and a wide range of techniques to ensure that the most
effective policy decisions are taken to resolve them. Policymakers are
assisted in identifying the range of available policy options, and in
the associated process of weighing these options and selecting the most
appropriate one. Resource Analysis also carries out R&D focusing on
the sustainable management and use of natural resources.

Name: Prof. Dr. Martin Hermy, Patrick Endels and Els Ameloot

Institution: K.U.Leuven; Faculty of Bioscience Engineering; Department
of Land Management and Economics; Division Forest, Nature &
Landscape (DFNL)

Activities The research unit for plant ecology covers the field of
“ecology, nature conservation & urban green management”. It
generally aims at studying the impact of various human related
disturbances (e.g. habitat fragmentation, management (including
restoration)) on biodiversity in a number of habitats. Our research
group focuses on plant species composition, plant species diversity,
population characteristics and fragmentation effects of changes in land

Name: Charles-Hubert Born and Mary Mahy

Institution: UCL, Séminaire de droit de l’urbanisme et de l’environnement (SERES)

Activities SERES aims its research on all topics in urban, land-use
planning, rural and environmental international, European and Belgian
law. Most performed activities are academic research for publications,
applied research for land-use planning, agriculture and environmental
administrations in Walloon Region and counsel for law making to
ministrial cabinets

Name: Prof. Dr. Grégory Mahy and Julien Taymans

Institution: Faculté universitaire des Sciences agronomiques de Gembloux

Unité Sol Ecologie Territoire, Laboratoire d’Ecologie

Activities FUSAGx has developed a set of fundamental and applied
research in the domain of biodiversity management. The aim of research
is to understand the complex ecological mechanisms responsible for
biodiversity changes at the landscape levels. Researchs are based on
the development of methodologies to measure biodiversity at its
different hierarchical organizational scales (genetic variability,
morphological variation of taxon, species diversity and plant
communities typologies).

Name: Prof. Dr. Daniel Tyteca and Valérie Grogna

Institution: Centre Entreprise – Environnement

UCL : IAG – School of Management, Faculté des Sciences économiques, sociales et politiques,

Activities The Centre is familiar in themes such as natural resource
and environmental economics, sustainable development, business strategy
and the environment. In addition, applications of the principles of
business environmental management are implemented in research and
education. The Centre has several collaborations with industry, either
as involvements in some of the research projects, or in the scope of
active collaborations with organisations such the Union Wallonne des


biodiversity, natura 2000, transversal research, SSD, BD, 06A


Landscape Ecology {Research discipline}
Conservation and Biodiversity {Research discipline}
Environment and Resource Economics {Research discipline}
Sociology {Research discipline}
Environmental and Natural Resources Law {Research discipline}
Ecosystem {Integration level}
National {Cooperation status}
Conservation, Restoration and Sustainable use of Biodiversity {Research orientation}
Middle Europe {Geographical scope}
Agricultural {Habitat type}
Dry and Sub-humid Lands {Habitat type}
Forest {Habitat type}
Inland Waters {Habitat type}
Island {Habitat type}
Marine and Coastal {Habitat type}
Mountain {Habitat type}
General Measures for Conservation and Sustainable Use {Research purpose}
Sustainable Use of Components of Biological Diversity {Research purpose}
Ecosystem Services {Tags}


Name Role Amount
Science for Sustainable Development unknown


Name Role Start End
Hermy, Martin co-promotor 2006-12-01 2009-01-01
Haumont, Francis co-promotor 2006-12-01 2009-01-01
Born, Charles-Hubert co-promotor 2006-12-01 2009-01-01
Grogna, Valérie member 2006-12-01 2009-01-01
Mahy, Grégory co-promotor 2006-12-01 2009-01-01
Endels, Patrick co-promotor 2006-12-01 2009-01-01
Tyteca, Daniel co-promotor 2006-12-01 2009-01-01
Ameloot, Els member 2006-12-01 2009-01-01
Taymans, Julien member 2007-01-01 2008-12-01


Name Role Start End
Division Forest, Nature and Landscape Research member 2006-12-01 2009-01-01
Centre Entreprise-Environnement member 2006-12-01 2009-01-01
Biodiversity and Landscape Unit member 2006-12-01 2009-01-01
Séminaire de recherche en urbanisme et environnement member 2006-12-01 2009-01-01


Reference Role
How to make Natura 2000 work properly? Socio-economic, legal & ecological author

created:2011-12-14 14:18:59 UTC, source:web

© 2012 by the Belgian Biodiversity Platform