De Wijers is a unique Natura 2000 area in the province of Limburg with 1.175 ponds. All those ponds add up to 700ha of water and reed, which is the equivalent of 1400 football courts. It also contains some heath areas. Not only is it a place with many inhabitants, but it is also a habitat for a lot of rare fauna and flora. Furthermore, it is an area of landscape importance and cultural wealth as well.
Problems caused by climate change:
- Sometimes flooding occurs in the area of the Wijers. This occasionally leads to surplus waste water flowing into surface water, polluting the vulnerable Natura 2000 pond systems of the Wijers.
- Longer dry periods cause problems for the ecological quality of the pond systems of De Wijers.
- Moreover, droughts lead to an increase of wild fires in the heath areas.
The province of Limburg and the Flemish Land Agency are working together within F:ACTS! to develop a territorial strategy for climate change adaption in De Wijers. This strategy should contribute to the regional policy ambition of the Province of Limburg: making the province of Limburg CO² neutral by 2020!
Aerial of De Wijers Heath area (picture:Tine Verheyden - RLKK)