Nature and agriculture together in an open letter: Leave us an open space in West Flanders

In the open letter, the organizations also state that the cost of occupying open spaces is now being paid primarily by farmers who see their farms closed and land prices trending higher. “Scarcity and speculation lead to an astronomical rise in land prices, which small farmers cannot afford,” the organizations say. “The cost to the environment is the loss of ecosystem services, the provision of connected nature and the preservation of biodiversity.”

And they conclude with an interesting read: 1.3 hectares of West Flemish land is cultivated every day (compared to five hectares in all of Flanders). The open letter notes that “60 percent of the open space in the Waregem area is occupied by occupations other than nature and agriculture.” “If we still want to leave the remaining 40% open, this can only be done with a different policy, which starts from the potential functions of the open space and not from the open space as the remaining area.”

The letter has been signed by the following agricultural and nature organizations active in West Flanders: Grün Kring, Algemeene Borensendica, Borenbund, West Flemish Ecological Union, Nature Dome, South-West Flanders, Naturepont Bruges Omeland, Middencost and Natureponte Meiden West-Flanders

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