Biodiversity, the basis of life on earth and of our social and economic activities, forms a complex network that performs natural functions that are as essential to our planet as is the production of oxygen or filtration of water. Biodiversity also provides a multitude of services (callede cosystem services) to humans. Our current consumption and production patterns are mortgaging our future. They are responsible for the depletion of our natural resources, biodiversity and ecosystem services. Preserving biodiversity is much more than just protecting and conserving nature. It also means taking care to use our ecosystems sustainably and ensuring equitable sharing of advantages and benefits that are derived from the use of natural resources.

In order to remedy this situation, the durable (without compromising the future of the generations to come) and equitable (respecting everybody) production and consumption is a major issue.

As part of the implementation of the Federal Plan 2009 – 2013 for integrating biodiversity in 4 key Federal sectors, the FPS Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment conducted a study entitled "Consumption patterns and biodiversity : consumer behaviour and their knowledge and sensitivities on biodiversity ".

The overall goal of this study was to identify measures to be implemented by the Federal government in order to guide and/or modify the demand of goods and services meant for citizens in order to preserve and restore biodiversity , ecosystems and ecosystem services.

The study was especially helpful in:

• determining the level of actual knowledge and understanding of biodiversity;
• identifying the main sources of information (current and desired);
• identifying the main concerns of Belgians regarding biodiversity;
• measuring the level of involvement and commitment (current and potential) of Belgians regarding biodiversity (daily considerations, personal actions etc.) ;
• determining the level of awareness of consumers about brands/marks/labels that value the preservation of biodiversity as well as the level of trust in them;
• highlighting the motivations (current and potential) and the impediments in adopting more "responsible" consumption behaviour;
• ...
 
The full study (iin french) and a summary (in english) are available.