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Environmental Treaties and Resource Indicators (ENTRI) -- Full Text File

Summary of the "Benelux Convention on Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection" is available from the UNEP Register of International Treaties and Other Agreements in the Field of the Environment.

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* Translation by UNEP Secretariat

Brussels, 8 June 1982

The Government of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Government of 
the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Government of the Kingdom 
of the Netherlands,

Considering that the Third Benelux Intergovernmental 
Conference, held in Brussels on 20 and 21 October 1975, 
decided that, within the framework of an active Benelux 
environmental policy, nature conservation, the preservation 
of natural areas and the protection of landscapes of value 
constitute a practical objective,

Having regard to the advice issued on 13 December 1980 by 
the Benelux Consultative Interparliamentary Council,

Have decided to conclude a Convention to this end and have 
agreed as follows:

Article I

1. The purpose of this Convention is to regulate concerted 
action and co-operation among the three Governments in the 
field of conservation, management and rehabilitation of the 
natural environment and landscapes.

2. For the purposes of this Convention, these terms shall 
have the following meaning:

—natural environment: the physical surroundings of man, 
including a-biotic (non-living) elements such as rocks, 
water and the atmosphere and biotic (living) elements 
embracing natural and semi-natural biocenoses including 
plants and animals in the wild states;

—natural area: an area in which the biocenoses are not, are 
no longer, or are only slightly influenced by human action, 
except where such action is intended to preserve or develop 
these biocenoses;

—landscape: a tangible part of the earth defined by the 
relation and interaction of various factors: soil, relief, 
water, climate, flora, fauna and man. Within a specified 
landscape unit, these phenomena give rise to a pattern 
resulting from the combination of natural, cultural, 
historical, functional and visual aspects. The landscape 
may be considered as a reflection of the attitude of the 
community to its natural environment and the way in which 
it acts on this environment;

—conservation, management and rehabilitation: passive or 
active measures intended to preserve or develop biological, 
cultural, historical and aesthetic values;
—transboundary park or area: a park or area lying across an 
intra-Benelux border.

Article 2

To achieve the purposes referred to in article 1, the three 
Governments agree to co-operate in the following areas:

1. harmonization of relevant policy principles and 
instruments, to the extent that they deem necessary, and, in 
particular, the harmonization of laws and regulations 
governing the subject of this Convention;

2. information exchange and concerted action on new measures 
and new developments to align or coordinate the policies of 
each of the three countries with regard to transboundary 
natural areas and landscapes of value;

3. organization of co-ordinated information and education 

4. exchange of scientific data and, as appropriate, the 
conduct of joint research;

5. co-ordinated implementation of agreements concluded within 
a wider international framework.

Article 3

To ensure effective protection of their transboundary 
natural areas and landscapes of value, the three Governments 
shall undertake or develop the following activities:

1. development of protection and management concepts for 
transboundary natural areas and landscapes of value, 
including transboundary parks, as well as areas of importance 
for migratory species; definition of criteria to be fulfilled 
by the aforesaid areas, their protection and management;

2. establishment of an inventory, demarcation and granting of 
protective status to the areas referred to in subparagraph 1, 
on which a decision has been taken in accordance with article 
1 of the present Convention;

3. establishment of harmonious programmes for the management 
and protection of the areas referred to in subparagraph 1, on 
which a decision has been taken in accordance with article 4 
of the present Convention;

4. regular concerted action with a view to implementing the 
programmes referred to in subparagraph 3 above:

5. reciprocal consultation on development projects involving 
the aforesaid transboundary areas and which might adversely 
affect them.

Article 4

To achieve the objectives set forth in articles 2 and 3, the 
Committee of Ministers of the Benelux Economic Union shall 
take decisions, in conformity with article 18 of the Treaty 
for the Union and taking into account the particular 
circumstances of each country or part of a country. Such 
decisions shall be binding on the three Governments and shall 
be published in each of the three States in the form laid 
down for the publication of treaties.

Article 5

The three Governments shall take the measures required to 
implement the programmes referred to in article 3, 
subparagraph 3, apply them and, if necessary, adapt them.

Article 6

The Contracting Parties shall retain the right to adopt 
measures stricter than those provided for in this Convention.

Article 7

1. Each of the three Governments retains the right to 
authorize departures from the provisions of this Convention 
and to the decisions taken to implement it, subject to the 
prior approval of the Committee of Ministers recorded in a 
decision taken in conformity with article 4 of this 

2. In the cases of emergency, however, and as long as there 
is no prejudice to the objectives of this Convention, each of 
the Governments may adopt and apply measures that depart from 
the provisions of this Convention, over a maximum period of 
three months, pending decision by the Committee of Ministers. 
The other Governments shall be informed of such provisional 
departure from this Convention through the Secretary-General 
of the Benelux Economic Union.

Article 8

In pursuance of article 1, paragraph 2, of the Treaty 
relating to the institution and statute of a Benelux Court of 
Justice, the provisions of this Convention shall be 
designated as common legal rules for the application of 
chapters III and IV of the aforesaid Treaty.

Article 9

In the case of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the present 
Convention shall apply only to territory in Europe.

Article 10

1. This Convention shall be subject to ratification. The 
instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the 
Secretary-General of the Benelux Economic Union, who shall 
inform the Contracting Parties of the deposit of such 

2. It shall enter into force on the first day of the second 
month following the date of deposit of the third instrument 
of ratification.

3. It shall remain in force for the same period as the Treaty 
instituting the Benelux Economic Union,

In witness whereof, the undersigned, duly authorized for the 
purpose, have signed this Convention.

Done at Brussels on 8 June 1982, in triplicate, in the Dutch 
and French languages, both texts being equally authentic.