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Zoom on our members : VLM

Zoom on our members : VLM

February 23rd, 2015

What is VLM?

The Flemish Land Agency (VLM) is responsible for managing open space in Flanders (Belgium). As a government agency in the area of Environment, Nature and Energy, VLM helps to shape rural policy in Flanders, and guides farmers in realising the objectives of the manure policy.


What does VLM do?


Organising a liveable open space

VLM wants to create a sustainable open space where people can live, work and recreate in a qualitative way. By identifying the strengths and needs of individual areas, VLM selects the best approach for managing, protecting and developing those areas in a sustainable way.

Offering solutions for land development

Using its expertise in ground mobility, VLM assists in large-scale strategic projects dealing with land exchange. In cooperation with local land banks, VLM makes suggestions for managing land exchange and proposes solutions for farmers who are confronted with expropriation. Through the Flemish Land Bank, VLM buys lands and creates a land reserve for areas where land exchange is necessary. This land bank also centralises information on pre-emptive rights and purchase obligations.

Shaping and inspiring rural policy

The Flemish rural area is a flourishing melting pot of agriculture, economy, spatial planning, nature, environment, tourism and recreation. VLM assists in shaping an integrated rural policy that combines the strengths and initiatives of all policy areas and management levels, and that keeps track of all social developments. By forging valuable partnerships with local rural partners, VLM supports the development of a liveable and high-quality rural area.

VLM is also a partner in numerous European projects and in international networks, for instance in the European projects GIFT-T , Purple (the European peri-urban regions platform), Demeter (sustainable soil management), the Interreg IVb projects Collabor8 and Rural Alliances, and the projects F:acts!, RESTORE and Solabio. VLM is even reaching out to China, for a project on biodiversity. VLM actively searches (co-)financing possibilities for Flemish rural projects and helps to shape the Flemish Programme for Rural Development (PDPO). VLM is therefore making a valuable contribution to the Flemish implementation of the European rural policy.

Stimulating sustainable agriculture

VLM encourages farmers to meet the environmental targets set in the Nitrates Directive, by actively guiding them, by stimulating them to practice sustainable agriculture, and by monitoring a correct implementation of the manure legislation. VLM informs and sensitises farmers, stimulating them to adopt sustainable management practices by setting up agro-environmental agreements. These give farmers the opportunity to integrate nature conservation measures in their own farming practices.


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