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A Case Study of Agricultural and Forestry Practice in Pajottenland, Belgium 比利时帕约特兰地区的一个农林实践案例

[Territorial Solution Collection: Sustainable Agro-Forestry Development Practices, Climate Actions and Carbon Neutral Issues]

The transformation of farming to adapt to local climate (incl. change) and local features may be a necessary foundation of climate action and green circular economy.

With natural-social-economic environment of cities and rural areas, the spatial-functional relation between land and water are becoming more complex and diversified., the Agro-Forestry Transformation discussed here is broader than traditional agroforestry. It includes agriculture, forestry and protected areas on land and water.

Below is the story of a family farmer and agroforestry expert in the small town of Galmaarden, Belgium, who planted trees in the farmland and promoted it to an agroforestry system.

 

Persons:

Louis-Marie Tenstedt, Wouter De Stecker, farmer and agroforestry expert in Galmaarden, Province of Flemish Brabant

Bert Reubens, director of sustainable development program at ilvo, Belgium

 

The Province of Flemish Brabant locates in the centre of Belgium surrounding the Brussels Capital Region, with a temperate coastal climate. Pajottenland is a green plain area with small villages, some of which are depicted by artists such as Pieter Bruegel.

Louis-Marie Tenstedt is not a "traditional" farmer. He is a trade engineer and has been CFO for years of a company operating cattle and other business in Congo, Africa.

After retiring, Tenstedt lives on a 400-year old farm in Galmaarden in the Pajottenland region, operating a family farm grown to 45 hectares. He combined agriculture with local tree species and became the pioneer of local agroforestry practice in Flemish Brabant.

https://static.standaard.be/Assets/Images_Upload/2021/02/18/2dddea94-713f-11eb-9ec6-fe45c85d1a19.jpg?width=768&format=jpg

Louis Marie tenstedt, left, and wood de stek: "my first tree planting project consisted of two rows of poplars."

 (Original in Dutch: Louis-Marie Tennstedt (l., met Wouter De Stecker):“Mijn eerste aanplanting bestond uit een dubbele rij populieren.”) 

 

Agroforestry Cultivation

Twenty years ago, Tenstedt decided to diversify the farm management. Two things made him think: He saw more and more fertile soil being washed away, and there were fewer and fewer small wild animals. "I've always been a hunter." He said. So he decided to plant trees around his grassland and farmland. "I firstly planted a double row poplar. In fact, planting double-row poplars around the site returns to the ancient tradition of Pajottenland. Therefore I got permission from the government smoothly. "

Later, Tenstedt planted nuts and a special tree species, Bijoux, which produces very big nuts. Then he planted tree rows and hedges to divide the field and grassland.

"These trees lead to more carbon storage in the soil and increase biodiversity," said Bert Rubens, head of sustainable development at Belgian Institute of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. The farmer has spread his risk, which is good for the enterprise and society. "

Actually, there is little difference between the farming method of Destek and traditional farms. The challenge is weeds, because they acidify the soil. They are looking for other sustainable ways to prune trees and shrubs, which takes time and effort. "The result of planting trees is that we gave up about 5% of the land that could harvest barley, corn or wheat. The trees absorb water, take away some sunlight, and lose an average of 10% of their income in the short run. " Said his son-in-law, Wouter De Stecker. "We still use herbicides and fertilizers, but much less."

 https://static.standaard.be/Assets/Images_Upload/2021/02/18/4a4c3b90-713f-11eb-9ec6-fe45c85d1a19.jpg?width=512&format=jpg

Fields and grasslands are divided into smaller fields by planting rows of trees.

 (Original in Dutch: Akkers en weilanden zijn in kleinere percelen opgedeeld door er rijen bomen in te planten.)

 

Wood Harvesting

They plan to cut down trees one day to make wood a source of income. "We see pigeons, crows and birds building their nests on the top of the tree, crushing the crown. Unfortunately, if you want to sell wood, you have to get beautiful trunks. So we have to prop up the canopy, or use a small windmill to scare the birds away. "

Another question is, will they be allowed to cut down those trees? "The municipal authorities believe that these trees make the landscape more precious and beautiful," De Stecker said. To this end, we wrote a letter to the effect that we intend to harvest in ten or twenty years. Fortunately, there has been a lot of progress in the legislation of Flemish Brabant. Forestry is increasingly regarded as a mature and sustainable planting system (which can be harvested in a proper way).”

Bert Reubens said: "The purpose is to allow farmers to use their fields for dual purposes. They continue to grow or raise traditional crops or animals, but combine them with forestry on the same piece of land. This is a form of diversification, which can benefit the company and society. Farmers spread the risk of farming and trees resist soil erosion, resulting in a significant increase in soil organic carbon content and increased biodiversity. "

 

Multiple benefits and carbon sink of agroforestry

"All the farmers here say we're idiots," he said of economic efficiency. They don't understand that we voluntarily reduce our income in the short term, especially in an already difficult field. As a retiree, I have enough space to experiment, because I don't have to make a living through this farm. However we are very lucky, nuts are very fashionable now, about 5 Euro per kilogram. The annual yield of an adult tree is nearly 100 kg, so with 100 trees, you have a good income. "

Rubens also admitted that, a "forest man" cannot make a lot of money. "Of course, the demand for profitability is reasonable and can affect many farmers. Now, more people choose to change the way of farming. In fact, crop combination performs better economically and ecologically than monoculture. However, there is still not enough knowledge and experience on the specific solutions to mix economic trees with annual crops and vegetables. it is a pity if agroforestry would not be popular enough. "

The number of farmers who choose agroforestry continues to rise. "Last year we even had a peak when 26 applicants applied for more than 70 hectares of land. That is still not enough, and the obstacles remain. Landowners sometimes do not give permission because they are not familiar with the system. This is still a pity, because the benefits of agroforestry to climate change are enormous.* It will also help if companies that have to compensate for their carbon emissions look to these farmers. Agroforestry must make agriculture as effective as other sustainable management options. **”

 

Editor's note:

*According to the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) 2020-2030 of Belgium, the total Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission target from the agricultural sector totals 5.5 Mt CO2eq in 2030, i.e. a 25% reduction from 2005, and a further reduction of 0.14 Mt CO2eq by 2030 for the entire agricultural sector between 2020 and 2030. In addition, agricultural carbon emissions account for 17% of the country's Non-ETS (Emission Trading System) [mainly transportation, construction, industry (non heavy polluting enterprises) and waste treatment]

**In the European Union, the carbon sequestration of soil and regenerative agriculture has been widely recognized and studied, also known as "carbon farming". However, this has not been included in the Emission Trading System. Another carbon trading system with the theme of carbon sequestration is being studied in Europe to help farmers get supportive funds and better coordinate the protection progress of biodiversity and agroecology.

 

Adapted from the report of Belgian Newspaper, De standaard, at 3:25 on Thursday, February 18, 2021

Original name: Als de boer aan bosbouw doet (When the farmer is engaged in forestry), author Dominique Minten.

Link to original (Dutch / Flemish)  https://www.standaard.be/cnt/dmf20210217_97787685

Further reference:

Baidu Encyclopedia (Chinese) -- Province of Flemish Brabant  https://baike.baidu.com/

Wiki travel (English) -- Pajottenland https://wikitravel.org/en/Pajottenland

Edited and Translated for global readers by: NATUREHERIT

 

【地域解决方案集:可持续农林发展实践、气候行动和碳中和问题】

通过农耕型来适各地气候(和变化)和地域特色的或是气候行动和绿色循环经济的必备基随着城市和农村的自然、社会和经济环境,土地和水域的空间功能关系趋于复杂和多元,文中讨论的农林转型比传统的农林系统更为广义,包括农业、林业和自然保护地。

 

人物:

弗拉芒布拉邦省(Province of Flemish Brabant)哈尔马尔登镇(Galmaarden)农民和农林专家路易-玛丽·坦斯特德(Louis-Marie Tenstedt),伍特·德·斯特克(Wouter De Stecker)

比利时农业、渔业和食品研究所(Ilvo)可持续发展项目负责人伯特·鲁本斯(Bert Reubens

 

弗拉芒布拉邦省位于比利时中部,环绕布鲁塞尔首都大区,属温带海洋性气候。帕约特兰(Pajottenland)位于布鲁塞尔外围的丹德河和泽恩河之间,是一片绿色平原和小村庄,其中一些由皮耶特·布鲁格尔(Pieter Bruegel)等艺术家进行了描绘。

路易-玛丽·坦斯特德不是一个“传统”的农民。他是一个贸易工程师,曾在非洲刚果一个经营养牛等业务的公司担任多年财务总监。

退休后,坦斯特德住在帕约特兰地区的哈尔马尔登镇的一个有四百年历史的农场,并经营一个发展为45公顷的家庭农场。他把农业和地方树种结合起来,成为了弗拉芒布拉邦的地方农林实践先锋。

 

图片说明:路易-玛丽·坦斯特德(Louis-Marie Tenstedt,左,与伍特·德·斯特克):“我的第一个种树计划由两排杨树组成。”

 

农林种植

在20年前,坦斯特德决定多元化经营。有两件事引起他思考:他看到越来越多的肥沃土壤被冲走,同时野生小动物越来越少。“我一直是个猎人。”他说。于是,坦斯特德决定在他的草地和田地周围种树。“我第一次种植的是一条双排杨树。事实上,在地块周围种植双排杨树是帕约特兰古老传统的回归。因此我顺利得到了政府许可。”

随后,坦斯特德种植了坚果和一种特殊的树种Bijoux,能产出非常大的坚果,接着再种植一排排的树和树篱,把田地和草地有机分块。

比利时农业、渔业和食品研究所(Ilvo)可持续发展项目负责人伯特·鲁本斯(Bert Reubens)先生说:“这些树导致土壤中更多的碳储存,增加了生物多样性。农民分散了他的风险,这对企业和社会都有好处。”

从本质上讲,德斯特克的农作方式与传统农场几乎没有区别。挑战在于杂草,因为它们使土壤酸化,他们正在寻找其他可持续的方法,修剪树木和灌木也需要时间和劳作。“种树的结果是我们放弃了大约5%的土地,原本可以得到大麦、玉米或小麦。这些树吸收水分,带走了一些阳光,短期收益平均损失10%。”他的女婿伍特·德·斯特克说。“我们仍然使用除草剂和肥料,但需要的量要少得多。”

 

图片说明:田地和草地通过种植成排的树木被划分成更小的田块。

 

收获木材

他们计划有一天砍伐树木,使木材也成为收入来源。“我们看见鸽子、乌鸦和飞鸟在树顶上筑巢,把树冠压倒。不幸的是,如果你想出售木材,就必须得到漂亮的树干。因此,我们不得不支撑树冠,或用小型风车把鸟吓跑。”

还有一个问题是,他们会被允许砍伐那些树吗?斯特克说:“市政当局认为,这些树木使景观更加珍贵和美丽。为此我们写了一封信,大意是打算在十年或二十年后收获。幸而弗拉芒布拉邦的立法已有很大的进展,林业越来越被认为是一个成熟可持续的种植体系(而可适量砍伐)。”

伯特·鲁本斯说。“这样做的目的是让农民把田地用于双重目的。他们继续种植或饲养传统的农作物或动物,但在同一块地上把它们与林业结合起来。这是一种多元化的形式,可以造福于公司和社会。农民分散耕种风险,树木抵御土壤侵蚀,导致土壤中的有机碳含量显著增加,并增加生物多样性。”

 

多重效益和农林碳汇

关于经济效益,坦斯特德说:“这里的农民都说我们傻。他们不明白我们自愿减少短期收入。尤其是在一个艰难的领域,作为一名退休人员,我有足够的空间来实验,因为不必通过这个农场谋生。不过我们很幸运,现在坚果很时髦,每公斤大约卖5欧元。一棵成年的树每年产量将近100公斤,所以有了100棵树,你就已有了不错的收入。”

鲁本斯也承认,作为一个“森林人”挣不了大钱。 “当然,盈利能力的需求是合理的,可以影响许多农民。现在有更多人选择改变耕种模式。原则上,作物组合在经济和生态上都比单作表现更好。然而,在经济树木与一年生作物和蔬菜混合的具体解决方案上,仍然没有足够的知识和经验。如果农林复合经营不够普及,将是一个遗憾。”

选择农林种植的农民人数继续上升。“去年我们甚至遇到了一个高峰,有26个申请人申请了70多公顷的土地。这仍然不够多,障碍仍然存在。土地所有者有时不给予许可,因为他们不熟悉这个系统。这仍然是一个遗憾,因为农林业对气候变化的好处是巨大的*。如果那些不得不补偿碳排放的公司把目光投向这些农民*,也会有所帮助的。农林复合经营必须使农业与其他可持续经营选择同等有效。**”

 

编者注解:

* 根据比利时2020-2030能源气候行动计划文件, 2030年农业部门的温室气体排放目标总量为550万吨二氧化碳当量,比2005年减少25%。另外,农业碳排放占该国非碳交易行业的17%【主要还有交通、建筑、工业(非重污染企业)和垃圾】

** 在欧盟,土壤和再生性农业的固碳作用已被广泛认识和进行研究,亦称为“碳农业”,但还没有纳入碳交易体系。一个以固碳为主题的碳交易系统正在研究中,以帮助农民得到扶持的资金,协调生物多样性和农业生态化的保护进展。

 

本文根据比利时日报De Standaard 2021年2月18日星期四3时25分报道,由自然颖源为国际读者翻译和改编,

原名“当农民从事林业时”,作者:Dominique Minten,原文荷兰语链接:  

https://www.standaard.be/cnt/dmf20210217_97787685

其他参考:

百度百科--比利时,弗拉芒布拉邦  https://baike.baidu.com/

维基旅行(英语)--帕约特兰地区https://wikitravel.org/en/Pajottenland

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