The Antwerp port is not only an important link in the global economy, it is also an indispensable area in a cross-border ecological network. A large part of the Scheldt estuary lies in the Antwerp port area, which includes nature reserves protected by EU legislation (Special Protection Areas under the terms of the EU’s Birds directive and Habitats directive).

To protect valuable ecological areas, the Port Authority has worked closely with Natuurpunt since 2000. Natuurpunt is Belgium's largest nature conservation organisation. This non-governmental organisation's main goal is the protection of important habitats, species and landscapes, including those in the Antwerp port area. It does so by managing the areas, monitoring the flora and fauna and giving advice on the further management and filling the natural areas in the port.

The “De Antwerpse Haven Natuurlijker” (The Port of Antwerp more naturally) project outlines the development of an ecological infrastructure network in the Antwerp port area. A network of core areas, corridors and stepping stones is being created within the Antwerp port area, without hampering the growth and operation of the port itself. This includes habitats for the natterjack toad, a fish spawning lake, nesting opportunities for bank swallows and many other actions for different species.

Natuurpunt is able to rely on the expertise of many volunteers to achieve all this. But the support of the more than 90,000 members is also indispensable.

Website Natuurpunt