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Megatrends: far-reaching, but also out of reach? How do megatrends influence the environment in Flanders?

 

The world's population is growing, development ambitions are increasing, the middle class is expanding, and urbanisation is on the rise. Emerging countries are reshaping the world order, both economically and geopolitically. But also society is in many respects becoming more diverse and vulnerable, with growing contrasts. They are examples of megatrends: already apparent long-term change processes that may have far-reaching effects for both society and the environment in Flanders.

In the report 'Megatrends, far-reaching, but also out of reach? How do megatrends influence the environment in Flanders?' the Environment Report Flanders (MIRA) assumes that we cannot understand societal developments and their impact on the environment in Flanders without looking at such autonomous developments at the global level. What global developments need to be taken into account if future (environmental) policy in Flanders is to be adequate, resilient and successful?

In this Future Outlook Report, the Environment Report Flanders (MIRA) identifies the following six global megatrends:

  • changing demographic balances;
  • accelerated technological developments;
  • growing scarcity of raw materials and other resources;
  • growing multipolarity in society;
  • climate change;
  • increasing vulnerability of systems.

 Their driving forces are mapped, together with their societal and ecological impacts in Flanders.

The megatrends influence our environment mainly through four societal systems: spatial planning, mobility, energy and production and consumption. The figure underneath shows this impact:

Although the influence of Flanders on global developments is limited, the report shows how (environmental) policy can adequately deal with such developments by making these systems more sustainable and more resilient.

 

 

o Read the digital version of the report 'Megatrends: far-reaching, but also out of reach? How do megatrends influence the environment in Flanders? (pdf, 6 MB)

o Read the summary (pdf, 267 KB)

o Read the key messages from the report (pdf, 208 KB)

 

 

With the report comes a technical background document (with English summary) (pdf, 4.81 MB) containing Factsheets (pdf, 38.8 MB), both in Dutch.

On December 11, 2014 the report 'Megatrends: far-reaching but also out of reach? How do megatrends influence the environment in Flanders?'  was presented in the Flemish Parliament and officially handed over to Joke Schauvliege, Minister of Environment, Nature and Agriculture.

o Contact MIRA: Igor Struyf (i.struyf@vmm.be)