Veerle Van linden / Sr. researcher

Instituut voor Landbouw-, Visserij- en Voedingsonderzoek (ILVO) /Bio-engineering sciences, expertise: sustainable agricutural production systems and LCA

The translation of this testimony was generated automatically by a translation program. Thanks for your understanding.

Main concerns in agriculture: as natural processes are complex, we need to look at agriculture’s contribution and solutions in a systematic way. The focus is too narrow now and we tend to forget what sector’s contributions are. The public debate is distorted and therefore dishonest and the reason is lack of knowledge. Nevertheless, the sector needs to transform thoroughly. In general, for all sectors, we need to evaluate climate solutions in a holistic way to avoid shifting the problem from climate to other environmental impacts.
My actions so far: I use my bike for all activities <6km away (~90%) and public transport for work related trips. I buy food as local as possible (member + board of ‘voedselteams’; vegetables from bio-dynamic farm). I engage in and buy fair trade. I (almost exclusively) buy second hand or ethically and ecologically produced clothes. I make my own cosmetics and cleaning products from natural ingredients. I use washing nuts for the laundry and I naturally dry the laundry. I avoid flying (unless I can’t, very occasionally (2014 & 2019, once). I am member of the transition team in my home town. I repair and reuse clothes and things. I educate my children and discuss with them about a.o. our consumptive behavior, the consequences for the planet, and why we try to live in a conscious way (and they have to use the bike…). I discuss (and explain/argue) often about it with others. I am a vegetarian (for many years) and my family eats vegetarian or vegan about 50% of the time.
My future actions: e-bike to my work, which is 21km away (hilly); I took the train before during 6 years, but the trip takes 75 minutes compared to 23min drive… it did not leave any room for assistance with the kids.
Difficulties: clean mobility is often disastrous (possibilities, connections, time, capacity. Especially in the weekends. Meeting culture and facilities can be better –e-meetings should be promoted, local communities should have facilities for their members to organize such meetings.
Key changers: prices should reflect real costs and subsidies should support less fortunate people to make climate friendly choices. Education for all should be priority, based on scientific facts and with a systematic approach, (how things are connected – including immigration, poverty, inequality, etc.). Government should lead by example. Even when it’s difficult and time consuming – that’s for all of us.