Catherine Linard / Professor

Université de Namur / Geography

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My main concerns are related to land use changes, especially the increase of artificial and managed lands that have a significant impact on the loss of biodiversity. As a health geographer, I’m also worried about the impact of various sources of pollution on all live beings, including humans, animals and plants.
I try to have a lifestyle that is as much as possible in accordance with my conviction that an urgent transition to a more sustainable lifestyle is required. I believe in the power of the consumer and I therefore buy almost only local and organic food. I’m a volunteer in a local association that promotes group purchases in sustainable, mostly organic, and local farms or little shops. I’m also registered as a ‘zero waste’ family in my municipality and I regularly participate to promotional activities to demonstrate how we can easily decrease our waste production in our daily life. At home, all household products and most of cosmetics are homemade with natural products in order to avoid the release of toxic substances in the environment.
My bigger difficulty is transportation. While I use the train, the bike and my feet as much as I can, the car cannot be avoided for a lot of my daily life journeys. The loss of comfort linked to the use of sustainable transport means is still too big to become the rule. Similarly, flying is currently unavoidable for most of my professional travels.
Key changes are needed for transportation, renewal energies and a generalized transition to organic farming. At the political level, huge investments should be made to develop sustainable means of transport. Increasing the number of trains, frequencies and connections is essential. And, most importantly, taxes must be adjusted to make sustainable means of transport significantly cheaper than polluting ones (e.g. train vs. plane). Another essential change required at the political level is a real will to generalize renewable energies to make the country autonomous. Last but not least, farmers must be massively supported in order to target a large-scale transition to organic farming.