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Johan De Beule

Social economy specialist

Johan De Beule, educated as a teacher in Sciences / Geography, has been involved in the environmental movement and the social economy since the early 80s, first as a project associate for the Durme association, then as Assistant Secretary-General of 'Vogelbescherming' (a bird conservation organization), as policy officer at 'Natuurreservaten' (nature reserves organization, member of the Mina Council), and for years as a member of the Board of Directors of 'Bond Beter Leefmilieu' (environmental organization). Through a self-developed project (concretizing the concept of sustainability in a rural region in 1993), he was project manager for Natuurreservaten for 2 years, in 1994/1995. Afterwards, when Natuurreservaten withdrew from the project, he took over the operation together with the project staff.

Meanwhile, he is founder and managing director of the Pro Natura group, a social economy company with 150 people on the pay list, including 120 workers from disadvantaged groups. In recent years he was one of the active forces, together with Jan Vandenberghe and Koen Repriels, behind the operational quality of VOSEC for the green sector within the social economy. Past achievements - founder Regional Landscape Zenne, Zuun en Zoniën; cofounder local group Pajottenland+ under LEADER; development of various innovative projects at the interface of ecology and social economy, such as the clean team concept, native seed orchards plant material, erosion prevention of hollow roads, and most recently the development of the concept of "Grass as a Green Gas Resource", whereby some problematic waste streams such as roadside mowings are converted into raw materials for renewable energy.