Positive practices

INBO does not only engage in documenting the decline of biodiversity in the agricultural area, but also searches for positive practices together with the agricultural sector. By this we mean practices that are good for agriculture and for nature. We are looking at how biodiversity in agricultural areas can support agriculture and how agriculture in protected areas can support nature objectives. We conduct this research through projects.

Pilot projects nature-inclusive agriculture.

In some pilot areas in Flanders, the VLM (Flemish Land Agency) and the ANB (Agency for Nature and Forest) are going to step up their efforts on nature-inclusive agriculture. Through Soft Systems Methodology, INBO explores the opportunities that farmers see to work more nature-inclusive. This concerns both measures in function of certain species or habitats and agro-ecological practices. These pilot projects are part of the LIFE project Belgium for Biodiversity (B4B).

Read more: Belgium for Biodiversity (B4B), nature-inclusive agriculture pilot projects.

Green-blue business models for farmers

Commissioned by the Department of Agriculture & Fisheries, INBO is exploring inspiring examples and policy lines for green-blue measures in agricultural areas. Together with Bolhuis and Mieco-effect, some promising examples are being quantified from a business economic point of view.

Read more: Green blue business models

Hazelnut borer in food forests

“A tough nut to crack? Natural dynamics of antagonist communities affecting fitness of a nut tree pest insect in food forests.” This is the doctoral research of Fien Debussche. She studies how natural pest control communities in food forests can prevent problems with the hazelnut borer.

Read more: Hazelnut borer in food forests

Agro-ecological farming and nature restoration in the Brussels Region

Can patches of (former) agricultural land with a green destination in the outskirts of the Brussels Region support nature restoration and agro-ecological agriculture at the same time? We found 76 inspiring cases in Belgium and abroad and selected eight for more in-depth research. From this we concluded that agro-ecological farmers are important allies for ecological and social policies.

Read our report for Brussels Environment: Agro-ecological farming and nature restoration in the Brussels Region.

Discussing the options (photo INBO)

Cereal farming with nature

This project brought together 15 farmers, millers and bakers to study and experiment together on agro-ecological practices in cereal fields at the Experimental Platform for Agroecology in Hansbeke. Researchers collect data on the basis of joint discussions, which are then interpreted with farmers, millers and bakers. This project is the result of the Agriculture-Nature project call: looking for a win-win.

Read more: Cereal farming with nature

Meeting with farmers (photo INBO)

Wildlife-friendly farming

In the project “Protecting the Area's Resources Through Researched Innovative Demonstration of Good Examples” (PARTRIDGE), we conduct ecological and socio-economic research into the feasibility and effects of wildlife-friendly farming on partridge populations (flagship species), biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Read more: PARTRIDGE project, European Interreg project

Short rotation coppice

INBO participates in a research project on renewable energy by conducting research into short rotation coppice. This biomass cultivation can increase biodiversity in the agricultural landscape and provide other services such as carbon fixation, erosion prevention, wind protection and natural pest control. In addition, it can also be a strategy for a farmer to produce his own energy. On the other hand, this cultivation can also have negative impacts on the environment and the costs can quickly rise if the wrong decisions are made.

Short rotation coppice (photo INBO)

Read more: AD LIBIO