National Parks of Wallonia

Mid-December 2022, the Walloon Government designated the two winners of the call for projects "National Parks of Wallonia": the Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse Park and the Semois Valley Park. The primary objective of the recognition of these territories is to develop an exceptional natural heritage for the purposes of nature conservation and tourism development.

The Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse Park covers five municipalities, straddling the province of Namur, with Couvin and Viroinval, and the province of Hainaut, with Chimay, Momignies and Froidchapelle. In total, the area covers 22,129 hectares. It is structured by three bio-geological zones: the Fagne, the Calestienne and the Ardenne, encompassing varied and well-preserved biotopes. It is home to an extremely diverse fauna and flora, rich in rare species.

A collaboration between the Department of Geology and the e-biom spin-off

UNamur is directly involved in the development of this park via its Geology department and the spin-off e-biom.


In partnership with the Cercles Naturalistes de Belgique (CNB), the geology department will thus participate in discovering the exceptional wealth of the park's geological heritage and resources, and the way in which this geological wealth shapes our landscapes, our soils, our biocenosis and the development of our villages and our society. "The future Park will cross three regions (Fagne, Calestienne and Ardenne), each of which has remarkable geological features, including original rocks, rare minerals and extraordinary fossils. This wealth is still relatively unknown, even locally. It deserves to be promoted, especially by integrating geology in its direct applications: soil characterisation for agriculture, risks of collapse of old mines, management of current and future extraction of regional raw materials, etc." explains Johan Yans, director of the Department of Geology at UNamur. Walking and cycling routes will be created on the site, and a geologist's backpack will be distributed to walkers. Several times a year, guided tours will be given by members of the UNamur Geology Department and the Cercle des Naturalistes de Belgique.

The UNamur spin-off e-biom, which is an expert in biodiversity conservation and environmental protection, is also involved in the actions to be developed within the Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse Park.

Learn more about e-biom here

"As a scientific partner, e-biom participated in the meetings and working groups on the establishment of strategic objectives and action sheets, particularly concerning the renaturation of watercourses and the restoration of natural environments," explains Jonathan Marescaux, biologist at the UNamur and CEO of e-biom. The company will support the project by making its scientific expertise available, as well as its innovative biodiversity monitoring tools.