This pilot action will integrate Natura 2000 management planning for nature reserves in ownership of conservation NGOs with adjacent private land. This way the management of both sites can be harmonised. A single reference document for private landowners on obligated or prohibited land uses will be created, facilitating the implementation of agreed measures. We strongly believe this cooperation will lead to a better implementation of Natura 2000.
We start with the consultation process in which we gather as much as possible information about our Natura 2000 sites or sites which are strongly connected to the European protected species and/or habitats. This will be done through our local “clubs” (Natuurpunt has local “clubs” in almost every municipality or region in Flanders) and our network of volunteers who know the situation in their region the best and know which landowners may be willing to cooperate with Natuurpunt. This way the sites can be selected on a few criteria, such as representativeness of the European protected species/habitats, willingness of the private landowner to cooperate and spatial distribution in Flanders.
After the consultation process, the integrated management plans can be prepared. We aim to complete 10 integrated Natura 2000 management plans together with private landowners and local stakeholders in the framework of this pilot action.
Since 28 October 2017, a new law concerning nature management in Flanders is established. According to this law, not only nature organisations as Natuurpunt but also private landowners develop a management plan for their property and ask for official recognition as nature reserve by the government. Also, the government promotes cooperation between landowners through subsidies, depending on the number of landowners in the management plan. Natuurpunt, having knowledge of the different sites, the planning process and the necessary paper work, can help and cooperate with those landowners who are willing to do this.
private landowners, local private organisations, governmental institutions
In the following 3 years, 10 integrated management plans must be completed. Also, at the end of this 3 years, we intend to already implement a few of the management plans on the terrain. This will depend on the duration of the consultation process. At the beginning of 2018, we try to have a list of our selected sites for the integrated management planning.
Definitely in Flanders and even in Europe this management model is rather new and surely not applied on a large scale.
The answer is simple: none. This way of cooperation between Natuurpunt or other nature organizations and private landowners is new in Flanders.