22.0% —or about 667,000 hectares—of Belgium is forested. Of this, none is classified as primary forest, the most biodiverse form of forest.

Change in Forest Cover: Between 1990 and 2000, Belgium lost an average of 1,000 hectares of forest per year. The amounts to an average annual deforestation rate of 0.15%. Between 2000 and 2005, the rate of forest change decreased by 100.0% to 0.00% per annum. In total, between 1990 and 2005, Belgium lost 1.5% of its forest cover, or around 10,000 hectares. Measuring the total rate of habitat conversion (defined as change in forest area plus change in woodland area minus net plantation expansion) for the 1990-2005 interval, Belgium gained 6.1% of its forest and woodland habitat.

Biodiversity and Protected Areas: Belgium has some 548 known species of amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles according to figures from the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Of these, 0.5% are endemic, meaning they exist in no other country, and 3.5% are threatened. Belgium is home to at least 1550 species of vascular plants, of which 0.1% are endemic. 0.0% of Belgium is protected under IUCN categories I-V.


Belgium: Forest Cover, 2005
Total Land Area (ha)3,028,000
Total Forest Area (ha)667,000
Percent Forest Cover22.03%
Primary Forest Cover (ha)-
Primary Forest, % total forest0.00%
Primary Forest, % total land0.00%
Other wooded land (ha)27,000

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Belgium: Breakdown of forest types, 2005
Primary forest (ha | %)-0.0%
Modified natural (ha | %)-0.0%
Semi-natural (ha | %)392,00058.8%
Production plantation (ha | %)275,00041.2%
Production plantation (ha | %)-0.0%

Belgium: Change in Forest Cover
Forest 1990 (ha)677,000
Forest 2000 (ha)667,000
Forest 2005 (ha)667,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)(1,000)-0.15%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)-0.00%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)(10,000)-1.48%
Change in rate (%)-100.00%
Primary 1990 (ha)-
Primary 2000 (ha)-
Primary 2005 (ha)-
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)-#DIV/0!
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)-#DIV/0!
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)-#DIV/0!
Change in rate (%)#DIV/0!
Other 1990 (ha)21,000
Other 2000 (ha)27,000
Other 2005 (ha)27,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)6002.86%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)-0.00%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)6,00028.57%
Change in rate (%)-100.00%
Other 1990 (ha)303,000
Other 2000 (ha)284,000
Other 2005 (ha)275,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)(1,900)-0.63%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)(1,800)-0.63%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)(28,000)-9.24%
Change in rate (%)1.07%
Forest area+Wooded Area-Plantations
Other 1990 (ha)395,000
Other 2000 (ha)410,000
Other 2005 (ha)419,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)1,5000.38%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)1,8000.44%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)24,0006.08%
Change in rate (%)15.61%

Belgium: Primary
Primary or "old-growth" vegetation
Primary Forest 2005 (ha)0
Other primary wooded land 2005 (ha)0
Other primary wooded land 2005 (ha)0
Undisturbed vegetation 2005 (% land area)0.00%

Belgium: Forest designation
Ownership of forest land, 2000
Public (%)43.5%
Private (%)56.5%
Other (%)0.0%
Ownership of other wooded land, 2000
Public (%)38.9%
Private (%)61.5%
Other (%)0.0%
Designated functions of forest – primary function 2005
Production (%)-
Protection (%)-
Conservation (%)-
Social Services (%)-
Multiple Services (%)100.0%
None of Unknown (%)-

Belgium: Disturbances affecting forest land 2000
Forest Area annually affected by
Fire (%)0.00%
Insects (ha)3.00%
Diseases (ha)3.75%
Other (ha)6.00%

Belgium: Protected areas
Protected areas
Biosphere reserves, 2005
Wetlands of international importance (Ramsar sites), 20059
World Heritage sites, 20048
Protected Areas: IUCN categories I-V, percent of total land0.0%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories Ia, Ib, and II, extent, percent of total land0.00%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories III, IV, and V, percent of total land, 20042.72%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories VI and other, percent of total land, 20040.71%

Belgium: Biodiversity - Wildlife
total species17
endemic species0
threatened species0
total species427
endemic species3
threatened species10
total species92
endemic species0
threatened species9
total species12
endemic species0
threatened species0
Wildlife diversity
total species548
endemic species3
threatened species19

Belgium: Biodiversity - Plants
Growing stock composition
3 most common species
% of total growing stock
Growing stock composition
3 most common species
% of total growing stock
Number of Native tree species
Native tree species58
Number of tree species in IUCN red list
Critically Endangered0
Vascular Plant Species, 2004
Number endemic1
Number of Threatened Plant Species, 2004
Species threatened0

Belgium: Value of forests
Biomass stock in forest, 2005
Above-ground biomass (M t)104
Below-ground biomass (M t)26
Dead wood (M t)3
Total (M t)133
Carbon stock in forest, 2005
Carbon in above-ground biomass (M t)52
Carbon in below-ground biomass (M t)13
Carbon in dead wood (M t)1
Carbon in litter (M t)14
Soil carbon (M t)47
Change in growing stock 1990 - 2005
Annual change rate (1000 cubic m/yr)
Growing stock per hectare 1990 - 2005
Annual change rate ( cubic m/ha per yr)
Wood removal 2005
Industrial roundwood (1000 cubic m)3,768
Wood fuel (1000 cubic m)600
Total wood removal 2005 (1000 cubic m)4,368
Total wood removal 2005 (% of growing stock)3
Plant products 2005
Food (t)-
Fodder (t)-
Raw material for medicine and aromatic products (t)-
Raw material for colorants and dyes (t)-
Raw material for utensils, handicrafts & construction (t)-
Ornamental plants (t)-
Exudates (t)-
Other plant products (t)-
Animal products 2005
Living animals (units)-
Hides, skins and trophies (units)-
Wild honey and bee-wax (t)-
Bush meat (t)-
Raw material for medicine and aromatic products (t)-
Raw material for colorants and dyes (t)-
Other edible animal products (t)-
Other non-edible animal products (t)-
Value of wood and non-wood forest product removal 2005
Industrial roundwood (US$)$132,766,000
Wood fuel (US$)$9,091,000
Non-wood forest products (US$)-
Total value (US$)$141,857,000
Total value ($USD/ha)$213
Employment in forestry 2000
Total people employed4,000

Belgium : Production, trade and consumption of forest products, 2002
Woodfuel ('000 cubic m), 2002
Industrial roundwood ('000 cubic m), 2002
Sawnwood ('000 cubic m), 2002
Wood-based panels ('000 cubic m), 2002
Pulp for paper ('000 metric tons), 2002
Paper and paperboard ('000 metric tons), 2002
Belgium: Environment
Environment - current issuesthe environment is exposed to intense pressures from human activities: urbanization, dense transportation network, industry, extensive animal breeding and crop cultivation; air and water pollution also have repercussions for neighboring countries; uncertainties regarding federal and regional responsibilities (now resolved) have slowed progress in tackling environmental challenges
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants
Natural hazardsflooding is a threat along rivers and in areas of reclaimed coastal land, protected from the sea by concrete dikes

Belgium: Land use / Resources
Land use (%)arable land: 23.28%
permanent crops: 0.4%
other: 76.32%
note: includes Luxembourg (2001)
Natural resourcesconstruction materials, silica sand, carbonates

Belgium: Economy
Economy - overview:This modern private enterprise economy has capitalized on its central geographic location, highly developed transport network, and diversified industrial and commercial base. Industry is concentrated mainly in the populous Flemish area in the north. With few natural resources, Belgium must import substantial quantities of raw materials and export a large volume of manufactures, making its economy unusually dependent on the state of world markets. Roughly three-quarters of its trade is with other EU countries. Public debt is nearly 100% of GDP. On the positive side, the government has succeeded in balancing its budget, and income distribution is relatively equal. Belgium began circulating the euro currency in January 2002. Economic growth in 2001-03 dropped sharply because of the global economic slowdown, with moderate recovery in 2004-05.
GDP - per capita$31,800 (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate (%)1.5% (2005 est.)
Agriculture - productssugar beets, fresh vegetables, fruits, grain, tobacco; beef, veal, pork, milk
GDP - composition by sector (%)agriculture: 1.3%, industry: 24.7%, services: 74% (2004 est.)
Industries engineering and metal products, motor vehicle assembly, transportation equipment, scientific instruments, processed food and beverages, chemicals, basic metals, textiles, glass, petroleum
Population below poverty line (%)4% (1989 est.)
Debt - external$980.1 billion (30 June 2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation (%)agriculture 1.3%, industry 24.5%, services 74.2% (2003 est.)

Belgium: Population / Demographics
Population (July 2005)10,364,388
Population growth rate (%) (2005)0.15%
Population density (people/sq km) (2005)342.3
Median age (years)total: 40.55 years
Total fertility rate (children born/woman)1.64 (2005 est.)
Ethnic groups (%)Fleming 58%, Walloon 31%, mixed or other 11%

Largest Cities in Belgium

Cities and urban areas in Belgium with population over 100,000 All figures are estimates for 2002.

CityCountryCity PopulationUrban Area Population

 Environment, Land use / Resources, Economy, Population / Demographics, Infrastructure, Health -- CIA World Factbook, 2005
 Forest Cover, Forest types, Breakdown of forest types, Change in Forest Cover, Primary forests, Forest designation, Disturbances affecting forest land, Value of forests, Production, trade and consumption of forest products -- The FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS's Global Forest Resources Assessment (2005) and the State of the World’s Forests (2005, 2003, 2001)
 Protected Areas, Plant and animal biodiversity -- United Nations Environment Programme - World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). 2004. World Database on Protected Areas.
 Biosphere reservers -- United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) - Man and Biosphere Program. 2004. UNESCO - MAB Biosphere Reserves Directory.
 RAMSAR sites -- The Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands . 2005. The Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.
 World Resources Institute's EarthTrends web site
 The 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
 Population Data -- United Nations Population Fund
 With additional analysis by Rhett Butler of

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