Wednesday, 21 April 2021
Flanders is looking for candidates for three additional national parks and three new landscape parks, which the Region wants to establish in the years to come.
This was announced on Tuesday by Flemish Minister for Nature Zuhal Demir and Flemish Minister for Immovable Heritage Matthias Diependaele.
“Nature is not an afterthought in Flemish policy, it is central to the policy,” explained Demir. “Arguments that Flanders is too small for this have to be consigned to the wastepaper basket once and for all. We are going to make space.”
Vlaanderen zkt. 3 extra Nationale Parken en 3 Landschapsparken. 🌸🌿🌳
Als we nog 1 compromis moeten maken over natuur, is het wel dat er nauwelijks nog compromissen over te maken zijn. Stellingen dat VL hiervoor te klein is, moeten naar de prullenmand. We gaan ruimte maken! pic.twitter.com/e8AknrEm1u
— Zuhal Demir (@Zu_Demir) April 19, 2021
The Hoge Kempen National Park is currently the only national park in Flanders, spread over ten municipalities in Limburg. The Limburg park, a nature reserve with more than 12,000 hectares of protected heathland and forest, attracts more than 1.2 million visitors annually.
Flanders is now looking for three additional National Parks – on top of the Hoge Kempen National Park – and three new landscape parks. “These areas must be sufficiently robust to protect the exceptional nature they contain in a sustainable way,” Demir said.
The focus for landscape parks will be on landscape quality and the various functions of the area.
“In a landscape park, landscape development, recreation, nature, heritage, agriculture, housing, business, and tourism go hand in hand,” added Diependaele. “Heritage is important for the future of Flanders, for the debate on identity and for the search for what binds us all together. That is why heritage also plays an important role in these Landscape Parks.”
To qualify as a national park, an area must:
To qualify as a landscape park, an area must:
Candidates can sign up until 15 September 2021. The parks are expected to receive actual recognition by 2023.
The Brussels Times