07/2/14 6:20 PM

Belgium, starting from the sea

Marine scientists at work.

The Flemish contributions to the LifeWatch infrastructure are coordinated by the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) and the Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO).

The Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) is the coordination and information platform for marine scientific research in Flanders. The VLIZ is a focal point for marine and coastal-related research and serves as an international contact point. The VLIZ signs cooperation agreements with Flemish research groups and administrations and furthermore integrates its activities in national and international networks. Major activities are the management of the Flanders Marine Data and Information Centre (VMDC), the Info desk, the Sea Library and the research vessel 'Simon Stevin'.

The Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) is the Flemish research and knowledge center for nature and its sustainable management and use. INBO conducts research and supplies knowledge to all those who prepare or make the policies or are interested in them. As a leading scientific institute, INBO works for the Flemish government primarily, but also supplies information for international reporting and deals with questions from local authorities. In addition, INBO supports organizations for nature management, forestry, agriculture, hunting and fisheries. INBO is a member of national and European research networks. It makes its findings available to the general public.

The Flemish LifeWatch consortium (VLIZ-INBO) is funded through the Hercules FoundationFurthermore, Wallonia-Brussels Federation is financing another research programme within the Earth and Life Institute (UCL). The LifeWatch Wallonia-Brussels (LW-WB) team has a strong experience in land cover and land use mapping through remote sensing methods and GIS analysis. This experience is promoted within the project to fulfill essential needs of the biodiversity community in Earth observation data. The strategic focus of the LW-WB team is to develop and make available biodiversity data on a regular basis, and more specifically data about habitats status and their dynamic. Web mapping viewing and downloading services will allow an easy access to pan-European information.

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