Our goal is to inform you about the preparations for the conference. For example, we will let you know who will visit the conference, introduce you in Agroforestry related developments in the Netherlands and challenge you to think about the future EU’s common agricultural policy (CAP). Read more about CAP (PDF).
Programme Commission van Akker naar Bos (vAnB):
I worked in the public sector but also became a natural farmer. Birds and small-scale landscapes are my passion. I see great opportunities for small-scale agriculture, producing for local markets, but also for more natural forms of large-scale agriculture. The big challenge is rediscovering nature and let nature do as much work as possible. I am very inspired by the many initiatives in this field, but I also feel that a much faster transition is extremely necessary.
As a researcher agro-biodiversity, I mostly work with practicioners with introducing measures for nature development, that at the same time benefit the farming system (e.g. natural pest control and pollination). Science and practical experiences go hand-in-hand in my career. Regarding hedges and linear landscape features, my focus is on the functional role of trees for the agro-ecosystem for livestock (fodder trees and nutrient cycles) and soil fertility (macrofauna and organic matter). My role in the programme commission of the EURAF conference is the scientific embedding on national and European scale.
I have an agricultural background. For over 20 years I have worked in development cooperation, working with farmers and researchers on sustainable land use in tropical countries. Since 2003 my focus is on Dutch landscape, where hedges and trees have become my passion and primary field of work. I want to use my experience to find out how we can give trees and shrubs an important role in our Dutch agriculture and to show that this is both economically profitable and environmentally sustainable.
I have a background in forest management and organic horticulture. As one of the founding members of EURAF, representing the Netherlands, I am involved in the Agroforestry movement for quite some time. The main reason for me to assist in the organisation of the EURAF 2018 conference in the Netherlands, is to bring the European agroforestry scientific community and the communities of practitioners and farmers closer together. I’m convinced that the incorporation of trees in modern farming practises will be able to solve a wide range of agriculture related problems. And funny enough, trees on farms is nothing new in our region. Our grandfathers and grandmothers used trees on their farms for many different purposes. However, with the development of modern farming methods, trees got lost (literally). Time to turn the clock back? I don’t think so! But it ís time to make smarter use of the available knowledge and experience by re-introducing trees (and by them strengthening nature) as farmer’s best friend.