News March 2024

Edition 2023 of Biological Valuation Map and Natura 2000 habitat map

A new edition of the Biological Valuation Map (BWK) and the Natura 2000 habitat map has been available since November 2023.

Since the previous edition (2020), we re-mapped 49,000 ha through terrain visits. This was done mainly in areas of higher nature value. In agricultural zones and built-up areas, we also updated about 48,000 ha based on recent aerial photos and other maps such as those of plots in agricultural use.

Please note that the new 2023 edition is not a completely new map. Especially outside the Habitats Directive areas, the map still partly consists of pre-2010 data. When using it, you should always pay attention to the origin (year) of a specific mapping, found in the 'herk' column.

Biological valuation map

The BVM is an area-wide inventory and assessment of the entire Flemish Region. The inventory includes the land cover (built-up areas, marsh, forest...) and the vegetation present (dry heath, reed marsh, oak-birch forest...). We also pay attention to small landscape elements such as pools, rows of trees and wood edges. A colouring with shades of green indicates the biological value. This gives the user a quick impression of the natural value of an area.

Natura 2000 habitat map

The Natura 2000 habitat map provides information on the distribution and area of the European protected habitat types. Flemish regionally important biotopes (rbb) are also included in this map. Rbb's are not on the European protection list , but are comparable in terms of biological values and importance for biodiversity. In Flanders, they therefore also enjoy protection under the Nature and/or Forest Decree.

The new edition of both maps is freely available and consultable.

Steven De Saeger

Read more: De Saeger S., Dhaluin P., Erens R., Guelinckx G., Hennebel D., Jacobs I., Kumpen M., Van Oost F., Spanhove T., Leyssen A., Oosterlynck P., Van Dam G., Van Hove M., Wils C. (red.) (2023). Biologische Waarderingskaart en Natura 2000 Habitatkaart, uitgave 2023. Rapporten van het Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek 2023 (31). Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek, Brussel. DOI:


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