The knowledge needed to make adaptation decisions is constantly improving and more and more climate data, services and web portals are available.
However, gaps remain. A strong knowledge base is essential to advance innovation and support sectoral adaptation measures to climate change.
To ensure that adaptation policies make the best use of research results, progress must also be made to improve the interfaces between the scientific community and the political sphere.
Climate change requires a particular effort in the field of research. The aim is to strengthen the understanding of climate change in terms of future risks and to better understand vulnerabilities and identify responses in different areas.
Belgium has observation systems that allow for long-term monitoring of meteorological observations. This monitoring work is carried out by the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI). In 2015, the RMI published inter alia “Vigilance climatique” (FR/NL).
Climatic projections have been built for the Belgian territory in the framework of the Belgian CORDEX.be project. This project (2015-2017), funded by the Belgian Science policy, brought together the different Belgian climate modelling groups.
The Flanders Environment Agency (VMM) has developed a climate portal for Flanders.
Several research projects have been launched to increase knowledge of climate change impacts and adaptation (for more information: see Chapter 6 of Belgium’s 7th National Communication to the UNFCCC).
The following climate impacts are monitored:
– Impacts on forests and nature (Brussels Environment, Walloon Observatory of Forest Health and the Research Institute for Nature and Forest in Flanders)
– Impacts on the oceans (Flemish Hydrography and Royal Institute of Natural Sciences)
– Impact on water: flood, water quality and drought (Flanders Hydraulics Research, Vlaamse Waterweg, Flemish Environmental Agency, Walloon Waterways, Walloon Flood)
– sea level rise (Maritime Services and Coast Agency)
– Impacts on agriculture and fisheries (Instituut voor Landbouw- en Visserijonderzoek ILVO – Expertisecentrum Landbouw en Klimaat ELK)