A species protection programme is a set of measures, tips and guidelines geared towards improving conditions for one specific species. In the port, however, a species protection programme has been developed for no less than 90 protected species for which measures are being taken within an ecological infrastructure network. This network consists of road verges, pipeline zones and other unused spaces in the industrial landscape. Together, this infrastructure provides a link between the areas of natural habitat within the port area, but also beyond to larger nature reserves just outside the port area. "By protecting certain animal and plant species within this network of around 600 hectares, we ensure that businesses can still develop despite the protection obligations that apply everywhere (and therefore also on industrial parks). This serves to help both the businesses and the species covered by the species protection programme. This initiative also provides an opportunity to support companies in their biodiversity plans," explains Johan.
The Scheldt Left Bank Corporation is also committed to biodiversity projects on its industrial and logistics sites. "The shared channel for the drainage and infiltration of rainwater and the sustainable green management in Waasland Logistics Park are two specific examples of this," says Christa Schaut, a biologist and expert on the environment, energy and nature.
The port sector and the nature conservation organisations have managed to reconcile their points of view. "We have a common goal: working towards a sustainable port area. From there, it was very easy to build bridges," notes Johan Baetens from Natuurpunt. .