LifeWatch Belgium

Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ),
InnovOcean site,
Wandelaarkaai 7, 8400 Ostend, Belgium

LifeWatch Belgium is a distributed virtual laboratory and is used for biodiversity research and climatological and environmental impact studies. The Belgian LifeWatch node aims to:

  • Design a central LifeWatch Taxonomic Backbone
  • Construct a Belgian LifeWatch Observatory
  • Develop a Belgian LifeWatch e-Lab and Marine VRE
  • Conduct data archaeology
  • Develop an ecotopes database for Belgium
  • Monitor and synthesis ecosystem dynamic descriptors
  • Build an Antarctic Biogeographic Information System (AntaBIS)
  • Develop a Barcoding Facility for Organisms and tissues of Policy Concern (BOPCo).

Download the leaflet to know more about LifeWatch Belgium.


Belgium makes varied and complementary in-kind contributions to LifeWatch. These are implemented in the form of long-lasting projects by various research centres and universities distributed throughout the country and supported by each respective political authority.

LifeWatch Flanders Team (funded through FWO Vlaanderen)

  • Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) (coordinator of LifeWatch Belgium)
  • Research Institute for Nature and Forests (INBO)

LifeWatch Wallonia-Brussels Team (funded through the Wallonia-Brussels Federation)

  • Earth and Life Institute (UcL)
  • Biosystems Engineering Department (ULg-Gembloux ABT)

Belgian Federal Institutes (funded through the Belgian Science policy office (Belspo)

  • Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS)
  • Royal Museum of Central Africa (RMCA)
  • Belgian Biodiversity Platform (BBPf) (which acts as the Belgian LifeWatch Support Committee)


Access to regional and global biodiversity data systems is facilitated by means of several data services (Belgian LifeWatch E-lab), data publication,  marine and non-marine data archaeology and the construction of a local marine-freshwater-terrestrial observatory.

Furthermore, a central Taxonomic Backbone combines taxonomic, biogeographical, trait and genomic data and disseminates this via web services.

Four ecosystem dynamic descriptors are derived from satellite images. Their weekly average profiles are calculated at a European scale. Furthermore, a database describing homogeneous units of the landscape,ecotopes, has been developed. is building an Antarctic Biodiversity Information System (AntaBIS), as a thematic LifeWatch virtual laboratory.

The Barcoding facility for Organisms and tissues of Policy Concern (BOPCo) project is setting up a virtual laboratory that uses molecular techniques to identify unknown biological material to species/population level.



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The Bulgarian National Distributed Centre is represented by the  Agricultural University-Plovdiv.

To know more about how Bulgaria contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.