BiomMap – Belgium (Wallonia)
The BiomMap project aims to significantly improve the ecological network within the Wasseiges territory in the Walloon Region. Rural stakeholders will be able to identify, monitor and quantify the existing ecological network’s features, indicate its characteristics, gaps and potential for improvement.
The Walloon Region is currently carrying out a study on its ecological network, which is all the interactions withing an ecosystem. There are strong expectations from municipalities, associations and citizens to intervene on the ground to validate, conserve or even restore the ecological network locally. The project aims to leverage the regional study to meet local expectations and challenges through individual solutions.
With stakeholders expressing the need to have easily accessible methodological, scientific and technical resources, the project will offer a digital tool BiomMap to map the network, and aid decision making as to its public management. Rural stakeholders can identify, monitor and quantify the existing ecological network’s features, indicate its characteristics, gaps and potential for improvement. The collaborative environmental mapping process will be managed by a territorial coordination mechanism.
The main expected improvement is the initiation of concrete actions to improve the quality of the ecological network across 5% of the territory.
At the end of the project, it is anticipated that the various stakeholders in the Wasseiges territory will have a tool to help their decision-making and to steer concrete actions. Biodiversity diagnosis will be more precise and constantly fed by contributions from the field.
The tool will be sufficiently simple and user-friendly to facilitate the widest possible citizen participation.
At the end of the project, the territory of Wasseiges will be able to count on the local community, representing different types of stakeholders all mobilised around biodiversity and using the BiomMap tool.
The tool will be open source (which grants all the rights to use, study, change, and share the software). The codes will be available on a software forge (i.e. a collaborative maintenance management system, accessible via the web). Any local authority will be able to access and use it and develop the adaptations specific to its needs. As the problem of biodiversity loss and concerns about it are present in the entire European territory, the approach and tool developed will be able to meet the needs in other regions or countries. Several Belgian LAGs, active in environmental actions, have shown interest in the project in order to adapt it to their territory.