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

About

Date: 2012-2016

Funding source: BELSPO Belgian Federal Science Policy Office

Project title: Meteorological risks as drivers of environmental innovation in agro-ecosystem management (MERINOVA)

Website: http://www.belspo.be/belspo/SSD/science/projects/MERINOVA%20E.pdf

Project summary

Context

Devastating weather-related events have captured the interest of the general public in Belgium. Extreme weather events such as droughts, heat stress, rain storms and floods are projected to increase both in frequency and magnitude with climate change. Since more than half of the Belgian territory is managed by the agricultural sector, extreme events have significant impacts on agro-ecosystem services and pose severe limitations to sustainable agricultural land management. The perspective of rising risk-exposure is exacerbated further by more limits to aid received for agricultural damage and an overall reduction of direct income support to farmers. Current knowledge gaps related to the occurrence of extreme events and the response of agro-ecosystems need to be addressed in conjunction with their vulnerability, resilience and adaptive capacities.

Objective

The research hypothesis is that meteorological risks act as drivers of environmental innovation in agro-ecosystem management. The major objectives of the MERINOVA project are to characterise extreme meteorological events, assess the impact on Belgian agro-ecosystems, characterise their vulnerability and resilience to these events, and explore innovative adaptation options to agricultural risk management.