Restoration of ecosystem services and conservation of biodiversity is one of the biggest global problems of this century.
Our biodiversity is doing very, very badly. Since the 1950s, 75% of all animal and plant species have become extinct. The most vulnerable species, such as butterflies, have even been reduced by 95% in species diversity in the Netherlands. I call it our biodiversity because many people forget that we are part of it. We spray poison on our food as if it has no consequences. Unfortunately it has major consequences, the number of insect species has also been greatly reduced and they are the bottom layer of the food pyramid, all other species live directly and indirectly from them. Humans too!
Not only that, we cut down forests, causing the soil to be washed away during extreme rainfall, causing mud flows that wipe out entire villages. The bees are dying in large numbers, which is why people in China are already fertilizing the fruit trees with cotton swabs. And our regular agricultural method impoverishes the soil so much that the chairman of the regional farmers association is ashamed that he leaves the soil worse for his children than he received from his father.
That is why we pay a lot of attention to biodiversity and its conservation in Ecodorp Boekel. We have drawn up a management plan for the site to maximize biodiversity, both on and in the soil. When that is successful our province has promised to make us part of the Dutch nature conservation area and we have proven humans can have a positive impact on their natural surrounding and make the Earth healthy again.
Ad Vlems was asked in 2022 to give a presentation to the EU about Working with Nature.
Ecodorp Boekel is also a Case Study for Smart Forests, a project from the University of Cambridge.
It is also a Living Lab for MANTRA, a research project about climate adaptation for healty rural areas.
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