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Better water environments in Flanders and northern France with ECOSYSTEM

The partners within the European ECOSYSTEM project seek to improve water environments in Flanders and northern France. To this end, the Flemish Environment Agency is developing innovative digital tools for the fight against invasive species such as muskrats.

ECOSYSTEM: what and why?

ECOSYSTEM intends to improve water environments in East and West Flanders and northern France. The project partners focus within the project on cross-border waterways with a view to improving the aquatic ecosystems.
The partners are working on a common approach to:

  • preserve biodiversity,
  • ensure the proper ecological functioning of the waterways in a cross-border area. This area includes, among others, polder areas and cross-border basins such as those of the Lys, the Yser and their tributaries,
  • implement ecological renovation works and together combat invasive plants and animals such as the giant hogweed, muskrats, coypu, etc.

Purpose of the ECOSYSTEM project

ECOSYSTEM aims to restore and preserve functional freshwater environments. It involves close cooperation with local stakeholders, so they can monitor, from start to finish, the progress and the results of the works carried out, the actions to fight invasive species, and the ecological improvements.Picture ecosystem mobile app

To this end, digital tools are being developed.

  • The VMM has commissioned the development of a mobile application to be used for rat control purposes. The app charts the evolution of the rat population. This app is being expanded to enable all project partners to chart the evolution of the invasive species they intend to combat. Restoration actions on waterways can also be logged on the app.
  • A digital database with an overview of both contaminated and restored sites will be made available.
  • A new website will communicate the results and inform the population about the issues surrounding invasive plant and animal species.


Logo EcosystemThe ECOSYSTEM project was set up under the Interreg France-Wallonia-Flanders programme. The project was set up in compliance with the European directives issued on the subject. The project qualifies for co-funding from the EFRD.


Type of project : Interreg France-Wallonia-Flanders
Duration :  01/10/2016 - 31/12/2019

 Project partners


GDON de Flandre Maritime (lead partner)

Union Syndicale d'Aménagement hydraulique du Nord


Vlaamse Milieumaatschappij

Provincie West-Vlaanderen

Rattenbestrijding Oost-Vlaanderen vzw (RATO vzw)

VMM contributes to the international policymaking and the implementation of environmental obligations.

» About VMM

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Flanders Environment Agency (VMM) covers three main areas: water, air quality and climate (adaptation).