Dr. Alain Peeters
Rue Warichet 4 Box 202
The Research Centre RHEA (natural Resources, Human Environment and Agronomy) has an international reputation in grassland research and development. In a more general way, its activities focus on the interactions between farming systems, sustainability and biodiversity issues in rural areas. Its team has an extensive theoretical and ground knowledge in agronomy and ecology: forage and grassland production; development and evaluation of sustainable farming systems; development of indicator set; organic and integrated farming; biodiversity conservation and restoration; soil–plant–animal relations; development and evaluation of agricultural policies. It is involved in farmer’s advices and development projects from 30 years. Inno4Grass partners will benefit from RHEA holistic understanding of farming systems, from its detailed knowledge of grassland management practices, environmental and biodiversity aspects, of European researchers and research/development centres (through its wide network), and of European agricultural and environmental policies. RHEA is particularly concerned by the dissemination of research results and the ways farmers can be involved in the development of innovations in a participatory approach. RHEA has a wide network in the sector of grassland research and development in Belgium, in Europe and in the World. In Belgium, Alain Peeters (Director of RHEA) was associated to the creation of the main advisory services in touch with grassland farmers. RHEA is closely associated to a group of about 25 farmers in the Tournai region (Belgium). This group of ‘innovative farmers’ is already active in information exchange and is organizing its way of functioning. It is managing an experimental farm of 120 ha that includes permanent and temporary grasslands, cattle and goats in the Tournai region (Belgium).