The Boeboeks and the Treasure of Biodiversity

Biodiversity is (your) life

The B of Biodiversity and Boeboeks : to B or not to B. Metaphor of “biodiversity” will be the letter “B”, making it also the synonym of “Boeboeks”. Boeboeks (with two oe’s as in “shoe”) are Earth Creatures (and are the characters in many books of Flanders’ most famous youth author Marc de Bel).

They see to it that seeds germinates and help young plants, animals and children to grow. They are very strange little critters. They hardly ever show themselves to humans.

Boeboeks are found all over the world. They are the same everywhere, but a bit different too. The closer they live to the Equator, the darker green and the more exotic they are.


Boeboeks have great senses (especially smelling). In addition they all share the “simpal” feeling, that is how Boeboeks can feel when a relative of theirs is very happy, in pain, or very sad, even when they are far away (= social dimension).
Boeboeks also love their food. They are crazy about healthy and organic sweets. And Boeboeks also love mischief, singing and dancing, hugging, and giving people a fright (“haboe !”).

With the Boeboeks for a green, healthy and ‘dropping great’ world for our children and grandchildren

If someone can save the planet, it is you !

In the 80s the A-team (a gang in a popular tv-series) would save the world, in the 21st century the Boeboeks will save the world (from the loss of biodiversity, pollution, climate change, etc). Therefore the Boeboeks will challenge all European inhabitants to follow their green foot prints and discover and protect nature in their immediate surroundings.

BOEBOEKS love and take care of:

  • flora and fauna (“in nature everything is connected to each other” – e.g. bees helps flowers and vice versa)
  • children who follow the Boeboeks (Boeboeks as role models) and who are the next consumers, politicians, CEO’s, etc. (children as role models and advocates of the future)
  • parents – families which are made enthusiastic via their children and who will e.g. garden nature friendly and make sustainable purchases
  • companies & NGO’s – which respond to the “market ask” for B-proof products (see below) and provide e.g. biological or fair trade products
  • governments – which can become B-proof working with only B-proof products and giving children in their policy
    = multiplication effect of the campaign – the model of concentric circles
    = a campaign involving all day’s facets of children (from school till at home)

Special attention will go to celebrities who will also be the (inter)national face for the campaign. In Flanders this will e.g. be youth author Marc de Bel (creative father of the Boeboeks).

BOEBOEK-proof : thumbs up !


The “B” doesn’t have the ambition to become a new brand or ecolabel. On the contrary, there are all ready lots of fantastic labels (e.g. EU green flower) and other initiatives ongoing. The “B” therefore wants to be an overall umbrella which encourage those organisations to continue, we give them a podium by creating a bottom – up campaign (children – families – companies / NGO’s / government).
The criteria ? They have to fit in the “B-philosophy” which is in short “Boeboeks are green and help plants, animals and children to grow”. This entails that B-products should be fair trade (e.g. no child abuse) or biological products. This also entails that B-activities focus on (children’s) involvement. In all this activities we follow the steps 1° head (I know – I discover, via e.g. stories of the Boeboeks) – 2° hart (I feel – I engage) – 3° hands (I do – I act).

Always look on the B-site of life

When organising the EU-campaign we would suggest to follow a semi-centralised approach in which the central campaign bureau puts out the message and provides the tools for the member states representatives (which can “choose” the ingredients for their own campaign).

We can think of

  • campaign base line and philosophy.
  • central database of figures, photos, B-stories and B-movies (we are now developing “fillers” – i.e. one minute movies focussing on one story – which can be used by tv-channels) this perfectly symbolises the semi-centralised approach : in e.g. Greece they can choose the Mediterranean topics.
  • the B-site (a wikipedia and you tube-website of biodiversity with special focus on empowerment of the visitors), a (digital) B-newsletter and other products which can be translated according to the needs and topics in the member states.
  • a toolkit / training program for youthworkers, teachers, nature guides, NGO/government spokes(wo)men, etc (cfr. the existing Dutch manual)
  • a toolkit for schools.
  • a toolkit for youth organisations (with guidelines for e.g. the organisation of B-camps).
  • B-day (May 22 = international Day of Biodiversity) – a European-wide day full with festivities focusing on actions to protect biodiversity.
  • B-events (= implementation through MS) focussing on easy actions everyone can take (cfr. UK’s action “do one thing”), e.g. on actions which children / families can take in their garden, some B-ideas
    • Birds (wintering as well as breeding)
    • Butterflies
    • Bogs and ponds (amphibians, insects, …)
    • (adoption of) the Billion tree campaign of the UN
      we will therefore develop overall campaign products (e.g. postcards with seeds for a butterfly-meadow) which will be used throughout Europe
      action will of course also be made in nature reserves, N2000-sites (but is a next level in involving people)

Putting the B back in business – the B is the limit

It is our dream that the Boeboeks can become the ambassadors of a sustainable development, that we can create a holistic campaign with many (private & public) partners.

Not only by promoting biodiversity but also by promoting the social and economical dimension. Hereby we also bring the story of “biodiversity = ecosystem services”, hereby also challenging companies / other NGO’s to join the campaign.
Some examples. In the campaign we could make the link to fair trade products by e.g. making a recipe-Book (following the seasons, promoting local and fair trade products – hereby also promoting sustainable agriculture). Or we can bring the FSC-story not only of forests in Europe but also bring this story in tropical countries. First contacts with Oxfam (fair trade) and Fair Timber (Belgian FSC-authority) have already started and the reactions are fantastic.

One thing is for sure the B-best is yet to come !

Copyright 2005-2019 Marc de Bel