European Learning Network on Functional AgroBiodiversity



AgroBiodiversityThe first conference ‘Towards a European Learning Network on Functional Agrobiodiversity’, held in The Hague, the Netherlands on 23 and 24 June 2008, resulted in the decision to establish a European Learning Network on Functional AgroBiodiversity (ELN-FAB). ECNC in cooperation with DIVERSITAS agroBIODIVERSITY International Project Office (AB-IPO) took up the coordination of this network, and the Netherlands Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment provided funding. The first phase of the project started in January 2009 and will run until the end of 2009. Further support and financial participation is being sought in order to expand the Network in the longer term.

By 2030 the use of agrobiodiversity to enhance ecosystem services in a way that promotes sustainable agricultural production and contributes to sustainable rural development (triple P) is fully integrated into European agricultural policies and practices.

The European Learning Network on Functional Agrobiodiversity is founded to exchange knowledge and practical experience across country and language borders, between farmers and policy makers, scientists, businesses and NGOs, to enable fast and effective implementation of best practices. This will help to optimize agrobiodiversity benefits, promote sustainable agriculture and will encourage widespread uptake of biodiversity concepts, thereby also enhancing non-agronomic ecosystem services.

The specific objectives of the project are to:
Benefits for Stakeholders
The European Learning Network started in the 27 member countries of the EU and was extended beyond the scope of the EU27 with Switzerland and Norway.

The primary stakeholders in the ELN-FAB are those organizations and people in the geographical scope that represent:
The benefits for the respective stakeholder groups include, among others:
Implementation structure
ECNC hosts the Secretariat of the European Learning Network. ECNC and AB-IPO are partners within this project and complement each other to ensure successful realisation of the project.

The implementation structure of ELN-FAB is provided below.

The Steering Group of the project consists of European scientists and policy makers representing the following organisations:  
Mr Gert Eshuis - Netherlands Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM)
Ms Szilvia Bősze - European Commission, DG Environment
Ms Tania Runge - COPA COGECA
Dr Felix Wäckers - University of Lancaster, UK
Dr Stefan Schröder - Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food, Germany
Ms Eike Lepmets - Ministry of Agriculture, Estonia
Mr Mark Thomasin-Foster – President of European Landowners’ Organization (ELO)
Dr Oscar Alomar - Institute of Agro-Food Research and Technology (IRTA), Spain
Dr Xavier Le Roux - Foundation for Research on Biodiversity (FRB), France  
Plans on the longer term
The secretariat has a proposal for the next phase 2010-2011 which covers the phase of broadening and intensifying the activities of the Network.
Among the planned activities are: