Meteorological risks as drivers of environmental innovation in agro-ecosystem management

Yannick Robert Willy Curnel


The extreme weather events, projected to increase both in frequency and magnitude with climate change have significant impact on agro-ecosystem services and pose severe limitations to sustainable agricultural land management. The proposed activities start from the hypothesis that these meteorological risks act as drivers of environmental innovation in agro-ecosystem management. These activities deal with risks associated with extreme weather phenomena and with risks of biological origin (e.g. pests and diseases). In order to reach this objective, the following elements of the chain of risk should be considered:
• Hazard (assessment of the likely frequency and magnitude of extreme meteorological events)
• Impact (analysis of the potential bio-physical and socio-economic impact of extreme weather events on agro-ecosystems)
• Vulnerability (identification of the most vulnerable agro-ecosystems)
• Risk Management (uncovering innovative risk management and adaptation options)
These activities will concentrate on promoting a robust and flexible framework by demonstrating its performance across Belgian agro-ecosystems, and by ensuring its relevance to policy makers and practitioners. Impacts developed from physically based models will not only provide information on the state of the damage at any given time, but also assist in understanding the links between different factors causing damage and determining bio-physical vulnerability. Socio-economic impacts will enlarge the basis for vulnerability mapping, risk management and adaptation options. A strong expert and end-user network will be established to help exploiting project results to meet user needs

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