The aim of Natagora is together with Natuurpunt, the second Belgian BirdLife Partner, to protect the remaining nature in Belgium through buying and managing land, protecting species, running awareness programs for a general and specific public and lobbying local and regional governments.
Following the federal structure of Belgium, two BirdLife Partners are active in Belgium. In Flanders and Brussels, the Dutch-speaking region, all activities are carried out by the NGO Natuurpunt. Natuurpunt has 130,000 members. In Wallonia and Brussels, the French-speaking region, Natagora was founded in 2003 by Réserves Naturelles RNOB and Aves, Société d’études Ornithologiques, to join forces on communications, education and conservation policy. Natagora is supported by 26,000 members.
It’s no secret – we’re in a climate crisis, and nature is suffering. I am very much aware of this fact; I am a biologist, and I have been working for Natuurpunt, a nature protection NGO, for the past eleven years. And yet, every time I stop and think about it, I am taken aback by the sheer scale of the crisis.
Our seas are pressed for space. There is an increasing demand for it by a growing number of activities that are steadily increasing their intensity. Activities such as fishing, extraction of raw materials, shipping, tourism, aquaculture, but also installations to produce energy from renewable sources are all competing for space at sea. All these activities and more, must be managed in a coordinated and coherent way. Maritime Spatial Planning aims to do this following an ecosystem-based approach that ensures the achievement of Good Environmental Status of our seas. But are EU Member States’ maritime spatial plans sufficient to deliver on this?