Reconciling farming and nature

ABC Eco², is a non-profit organisation which stimulates and supports Flemish farmers to cooperate on landscape, nature, water and soil management. It is a cooperation between the major Flemish farmer unions and agriculutural and nature administrations.

Since 2009 30 local agro-environmental cooperations (AEC’s) are formed (number is growing each year) on a wide range of topics: farmland birds, bees, botanic grassland diversity, erosion control, hedgerow management, water conservation,… In these groups, farmers take collective action and organize management work in an efficient way in order to create ecologic en and economic benefits. Agrobeheercentrum Eco² supports the AEC’s in administrational, educational, organizational, legal and technical way.

Agro-ecological innovation in practice

ABC Eco² is both a centre of excellence on agro-environmental mangagement as an umbrella organisation of the agro-environmental co-operations in Flanders. ABC Eco² aims to stimulate and support farmers in developing new economic activities in landscape, nature and water management. ABC Eco² aims to attain the best possible results for the environment, while creating economic benefits for farmers (Ecology x Economy). Farmers are stimulated and supported to collaborate on nature, landscape and/or water management in agro-environmental co-operations.

In short, ABC Eco² has the following objectives:

  • to stimulate and support farmers for integrating landscape, water and nature management in their farming practice;
  • to foster local partnerships of farmers on landscape, water and nature management;
  • to develop, collect and distribute knowledge and experience about nature, water and landscape management among farmers;
  • to establish an appropriate legal and juridical framework  for local AEC’s;
  • to initiate and implement projects on agrarian landscape, water and nature management;
  • to encourage networking and cooperation of agro-environmental cooperations with other actors;
  • to contribute to policy development at all levels, based on practical experience

Creating added value by local cooperation

    • Farmers agree in group which of the proposed management options to implement. 
    • Landscape and nature management is implemented in a more efficient way.
    • Engagement in an AEC increases the likelihood that agreements will be continued in the longer term.
    • The AEC is a contact point for other intiatives and partnerships.
    • The effectiveness of measures and results for biodiversity and landscape management improve by means of a more site-specific approach and coordinated action at landscape level.
    • Knowledge sharing and collaboration is facilitated within the AEC as in relation to other stakeholders.
    • Farmers in AEC’s are supported and advised by ABC Eco².