Flemish carbon farming discussion forum sparks enthusiastic dialogues

With a room full of enthusiastic participants, the event set the stage for spirited discussions around key questions, reflecting a collective eagerness to shape a practical local navigation for carbon farming and sustainable agriculture in Flanders.

The Flemish Carbon Farming Discussion Forum on November 6, 2023, in Brussels, marked a special moment. The room was filled with enthusiasm and a strong willingness to approach sustainable agriculture in Flanders from a bottom-up perspective, addressing workable local navigation and specific questions:

  1. Additionality vs. determining the 'value' or path to follow.
  2. Defining long-term carbon storage.
  3. Encouraging the conservation of high carbon stocks.
  4. How a European system can accommodate smallholder efforts.

Divergent narratives emerged among forest and nature managers on one hand, and the agricultural sector on the other. Companies expressed interest in carbon farming systems but perceived international competition for certificates as a risk. A clear call resonated not to wait until Europe has everything ready but to unite in Flanders and develop a framework to initiate carbon farming.

During the workshops, there was a voiced need for a more robust knowledge base for monitoring, emphasizing the importance of collaboration among all stakeholders.