Enhancing Ecosystem Services in Belgian Agriculture through Agroecology: A Vision for a Farming with a Future

Alain Peeters, Nicolas Dendoncker, Sander Jacobs

    Research output: Contribution in Book/Catalog/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    This chapter introduces the concept of ecosystem services in agriculture by classifying and comparing different types of farming. It distinguishes fossil-fuel-based and ecosystem-based systems. Agroecology and integrated farming are two ecosystem-based systems. Their principles and characteristics are defined. Their implementation often requires a recapitalization of ecosystems in soil organic matter and ecological infrastructures. As scientific activities, they are often involved in action and based on a holistic and participatory approach with pilot farms. Examples of this type of research activities are presented.Changes are needed in Belgian and European agricultural systems notably because they are based on massive use of fossil fuels and imports of animal feed from other continents. In addition to expected price increases of these inputs, a self-sufficiency rate is desirable. Intensive systems also have a negative impact on the environment. Policy options are proposed for implementing a fast transition to more agroecological systems.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEcosystem Services: Global Issues, Local Practices
    PublisherElsevier Inc.
    Pages285-304
    Number of pages20
    ISBN (Print)9780124199644
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

    Keywords

    • Agroecology
    • Ecologically Intensive Agriculture
    • Farming systems
    • Fossil-fuel-based farming
    • Holistic approach
    • Integrated Farming
    • Paradigm change
    • Pilot farms
    • Policy recommendations

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