The different tools, developed within the project, are tested in different case-studies and evaluated in collaboration with the local end-users. Therefor ECOPLAN involves end-users that can embed and implement the ecosystem service concept and the developed framework, which selected different case-studies that represent the different policy domains and challenges regarding environmental management.
The Demer valley is one of the 11 catchments within Flanders that are core units for integrated catchment management and the implementation of the European Water Directive. The catchment serves as test case for the application of the ecosystem service concept and ECOPLAN tools within the integrated catchment management.
Herk and Mombeek
Herk and Mombeek are 2 rivers situated in the east of Flanders. The combined valley of both rivers makes part of an ‘integrated project’ which combines different planning processes from different departments and institutions of the Flemish government. The project mainly focusses on the different water dependent ecosystem services.
The valley of the Kleine Nete is an important open area within Flanders. But is has also a high population density with scattered urbanization. The big challenge for the valley is to reinforce its resilience against extreme weather events and strengthen the different agricultural and natural areas.
Different departments and institutions of the Flemish government are active with the implementation different projects. These projects need however be integrated where possible to prevent mismatches and maximize potential trade-offs.
Laaglandpark Merskem is one of the last open areas in the eastern part of Antwerp and situated in one of the most densely populated areas of Flanders. Different developments for the Port of Antwerp, traffic control and increasing populations threaten the area. An overall vision is therefore needed that maximizes ecosystem service generation while integrating different other infrastructure projects.
The Stiemerbeek valley is situated in the east of Flanders within the Campine region. Different planning processes regarding nature development, agriculture and urban development are currently in progress within the valley. The ecosystem services concept and the ECOPLAN project can help in integrating these different processes and find mutual benefits for the different end-users.
Pollinkhove is an agricultural area located in the west of Flanders. The presence of a large number of intensive agriculture farms results in a high pressure on the natural environment. The rearrangement of the agricultural lands in the area, that is carried out in behalf of the Flemish government, provides an opportunity to improve the resilience of the natural environment and improve the provisioning of different ecosystem services.