Titel I.
General provisions

Chapter I.
Introductory provisions

Article 1.1.1. This decree regulates a subject referred to in article 39 of the Constitution.

Article 1.1.2.


Unless explicitly determined otherwise, the following definitions apply:

1 environment: the atmosphere, soil, water, flora, fauna and other organisms other than persons, ecosystems, landscapes and the climate;

2polluting elements: solid substances, liquids, gases, micro-organisms, forms of energy such as heat, radiation, light, noise and other vibrations;

3emission: any introduction by persons of polluting substances into the atmosphere, soil or water;

4to pollute: the causing of an emission which in a direct or indirect manner does or can detrimentally affect persons or the environment;

5pollution: the presence of polluting substances caused by persons in the atmosphere, soil or water which in a direct or indirect manner does or can detrimentally affect persons or the environment;

6 extraction: the removal by persons of soil, water, air or light which in a direct or indirect manner does or can detrimentally affect persons or the environment;

7immission: the change in the presence of polluting factors in the atmosphere, soil or water around one or more sources of pollution as a result of an emission from this source or sources;

8technical environmental entity: different establishments and/or activities, including their op-erating premises and other immoveable property with which they are related, which must be con-sidered as one entity for the assessment of the detrimental effects that they can cause on the popu-lation or environment. A fact that could indicate the existence of a technical environmental entity is the mutual geographic, material or operational relationships of establishments and activities which are concomitant with the relative separation of the whole of these establishments and ac-tivities with respect to other establishments and activities.


Unless explicitly stipulated otherwise:

  1. the atmosphere does not comprise air in closed spaces;
  2. the soil comprises the solid constituents of the ground, including groundwater, micro-organisms and other components located therein;
  3. water does not comprise drinking water nor groundwater;
  4. radiation does not comprise ionising radiation.

Chapter II.
Objectives and principles

Article 1.2.1.


For the benefit of the current and future generation the environmental policy has the following objectives:

  1. the management of the environment by the durable use of raw materials and natural resources;
  2. the protecting, by combating pollution and extraction, of persons and the environment, and in particular ecosystems important to the working of the biosphere and that concerning the production of food, health and other aspects of human life;
  3. the conservation of nature and the stimulation of biological and scenic diversity, in particular by the maintenance, the restoration and the development of natural habitats, ecosystems and landscapes with ecological value and the preservation of wildlife, in particular wildlife that is endangered, vulnerable, rare or endemic.


Based on the consideration of the different social activities, the environmental policy strives for a high level of protection. It is based on aspects including the precautionary principle and the principle of preventive action, the principle that priority is given to countering environmental pollution at source, the standstill principle and the polluter pays principle.


The objectives and principles determined in 1 and 2 must be integrated in other areas in the determining and execution of policy of the Flemish Region. With the execution of the policy, account is taken of the social-economic aspects, the international dimension and the available scientific and technical information.