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Published on
3 April 2024

Bridging the Biodiversity Gap: An Urgent Call for Belgium’s Investment in Nature

Undeniably, certain news stories prompt us to act, and the recent report published by WWF-Belgium perfectly illustrates this point. Coinciding with the International Day for Biodiversity, this study highlights the substantial gap between Belgium’s aspirations for biodiversity and its allocation of funds towards nature conservation.

The “Nature’s Worth Its Weight in Gold: Investing in Biodiversity, Securing Our Future” report implies that Belgium should invest an extra €603 million annually to eliminate this shortfall and meet its stated biodiversity targets. To provide some perspective, this amount corresponds to 0.13% of Belgium’s GDP or 0.22% of the total public expenditure of Belgium in 2020.

While the figure might appear sizeable, it is notably less than the nation’s subsidies towards activities detrimental to the environment. In 2020, Belgium devoted nearly €13 billion to fossil fuel subsidies, contradicting its environmental and biodiversity goals.

The rationale behind investing in biodiversity is simple and compelling: nature is a worthwhile investment—the risk of biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse rank among the most severe threats to humanity. Within Belgium, only 4% of natural habitats are in a healthy ecological state. Meanwhile, worldwide biodiversity is dwindling at an alarming pace, with 69% of species populations disappearing since 1970.

The consequences of this crisis extend to multiple areas, from drinkable water supply to our food security and overall well-being. Moreover, global economic productivity heavily depends on nature, accounting for an estimated value of $44 trillion. Therefore, the importance of investing in biodiversity to ensure our future wealth is evident.

It’s worth mentioning that the cost of inaction is even higher. Following the 2021 floods in Belgium, the material damage was estimated at €2.8 billion for the Walloon region alone. Investing in a resilient natural ecosystem that mitigates severe impacts is a strategic move towards our future prosperity and wellness.

Encouragingly, Belgian citizens are rallying behind nature. More than 14,000 Belgians have contacted responsible ministers and Belgian European Parliament members, advocating for a robust law on nature restoration. They also undertake local initiatives to plug policy loopholes and shield nature in Belgium, supported by the WWF and its “Funds for Our Nature.”

We must act now to preserve our biodiversity. Bridging this financial gap is essential. Investing in nature is equivalent to investing in our future.

Want to delve deeper? Explore the WWF report, produced by the #inextremis agency and supervised by the association’s communication team.

Environmental consciousness is integral to #inextremis

For over three decades, the communication agency has been diligently collaborating with prominent “Green” influencers, such as:

From its foundation, #inextremis has been committed to endorsing environmental conservation and sustainability through efficient communication and cooperation with respected organisations.