About us

LTER-Belgium’s vision is for a world in which science helps to understand environmental phenomena and helps to prevent and solve environmental and socio-ecological problems.

LTER-Belgium is the national reference network for cooperation in long term environmental scientific research in Belgium.

The mission of LTER-Belgium is to improve the understanding of the functioning of the ecosystems in Belgium in order to provide answers to current and future environmental issues, by facilitating and supporting national and international cooperation on long-term environmental research and monitoring.

Our goals are to:

1. Foster collaboration and coordination among ecological researchers and research institutes at national and international scale.

2. Facilitate the generation, use, exchange and preservation both within and outside the country of long-term ecological and socio-ecological data from LTER sites or LTSER platforms in Belgium.

3. Deliver scientific information to scientists, policymakers, and the public to meet the needs of decision-makers at multiple levels.

4. Facilitate education of the next generation of long-term scientists.


LTER-Belgium is a member network of LTER-Europe and ILTER:



LTER-Europe is the umbrella network for Long-Term Ecosystem Research (LTER) in Europe. It's members are national networks of LTER sites.

Long-Term Ecosystem Research (LTER) is an essential component of world-wide efforts to better understand ecosystems. Through research and monitoring, LTER seeks to improve our knowledge of the structure and functions of ecosystems and their long-term response to environmental, societal and economic drivers.

LTER contributes to the knowledge base informing policy and to the development of management options in response to the Grand Challenges under Global Change.

Since its launch in 2003, LTER-Europe has sought to better integrate traditional natural sciences and holistic ecosystem research approaches that include studies of the human component.

LTER-Europe was heavily involved in developing the concept of Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research (LTSER). As a result, LTER-Europe now comprises not only LTER sites but also larger LTSER platforms, where long-term interdisciplinary research is encouraged.


ILTER (International Long-Term Ecosystem Reseach Network)

ILTER consists of networks of scientists engaged in long-term, site-based ecological and socio-ecological research. We improve the understanding of global ecosystems and thereby provide the prerequisites for knowledge-based solutions to many current and future environmental problems.


Specifically, the purpose of ILTER is to provide a globally distributed network and  infrastructure of long-term research sites for multiple use in the fields of ecosystem, biodiversity, critical zone and socio-ecological research, and to secure highest quality interoperable services in close interaction with related regional and global research infrastructures and networks.



eLTER RI (integrated European Long-Term Ecosystem, critical zone and socio-ecological systems Research Infrastructure (eLTER RI) as an ESFRI research infrastructure)

ESFRI is the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures, formed in 2002 at the behest of the European Council. ESFRI is a strategic instrument to develop the scientific integration of Europe and to strengthen its international outreach, through the coordinated development of major research infrastructures.

At European level, LTER-Belgium is contributing to the development of the eLTER Research Infrastructure (eLTER RI) as a formally recognised ESFRI Research Infrastructure. We have successfully achieved the first stage: the eLTER RI was accepted onto the 2018 ESFRI Roadmap in the summer of 2018. This paves the way for the further development of eLTER RI. 

Steps are being taken to include a subset of the sites and platforms of LTER-Belgium to be integrated of the European eLTER RI. See the Horizon 2020 projects: eLTER, eLTER PLUS and eLTER PPP.



last modified on 08 Feb 2016