Sibelco expands partnership and signs charter with Natuurpunt Vlaanderen
Sibelco announces a national partnership with nature preservation organization Natuurpunt Vlaanderen. Since 2023, Sibelco has partnered with local branch Natuurpunt Netebronnen Mol for the management and maintenance of the ‘Schansheide’ area in Mol/Dessel (Belgium).
The expanded partnership with Natuurpunt Vlaanderen was made official on 5 October when VP Sustainability Cathy Blervacq and Natuurpunt President Bart Vangansbeke signed the charter at an event attended by representatives of local and national government and NGOs. Natuurpunt is also the Flemish partner of Birdlife International. Last year, Sibelco already
Today, the partnership is expanded to the national level, and also includes a project for the management and maintenance of the ‘Maatheide-Blokwaters’ area in Lommel (Belgium). In line with our sustainability strategy, these projects allow Sibelco to contribute to preservation, biodiversity and future management of local nature areas close to our mineral extraction activities.
‘Schansheide’ is managed by a local Natuurpunt team and is an important heathland for the grayling. All year round, this area is an important host for many different waterfowls such as waders, herons, and cormorants. In wintertime, birds from the north such as the tundra goose even hibernate here. The area of ‘Schansheide’ was named “Walk of the year 2023” by the province of Antwerp.
Now Natuurpunt will also manage the area of ‘Maatheide-Blokwaters’. This former quarry has already been transformed into a habitat for the natterjack toad by creating a natural corridor with aquifers, drifting dunes and heath vegetation. The smooth snake now also feels at home here as the area has plenty of open spaces surrounded by heath and grasses. The area will also be included in the ‘Bosland’ project.
Besides our extended partnership with Natuurpunt, Sibelco also presented other sustainability projects such as ‘Klimaatplassen’ and ‘Bosteller’ at a local event hosted by Sibelco on 5 October in Mol, Belgium.
Bart Vangansbeke, president of Natuurpunt, explains:
"Nature in Flanders is highly fragmented. Every piece of nature that is added can serve as a connection between existing larger areas. Sibelco gives us the opportunity to make extra efforts to strengthen local nature on their property. In addition to setting up nature restoration projects with dry heathland and drifting dunes, the target species for this area are the smooth snake and natterjack toad which are European protected species. These species will benefit enormously from an optimised habitat in ‘Maatheide-Blokwaters’."
Cathy Blervacq, Vice President Sustainability at Sibelco, comments:
This Natuurpunt partnership strengthens our position as a reliable forest and nature manager in Flanders. Everything Sibelco undertakes is underpinned by a robust sustainability framework in which we balance economic performance with environmental and social responsibility. It is very important to us that projects are always developed in consultation with all parties involved and that we find solutions together. These projects once again show how consultation contributes to strong achievements. Thanks to Natuurpunt and their management programmes, our former mineral extraction areas will have more biological value and will contribute to the growth of local biodiversity.
Vice President Sustainability at Sibelco
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