Date: 01/12/2023

The management of terminal operator DP World planted more than 500 young reed plants with Natuurpunt in the Rode Weel in bird sanctuary 'The Tufted Duck'. Thanks to these reed plants, the nature reserve will provide a new breeding habitat for endangered bird species such as bittern and marsh harrier.



Doel, 24 November 2023 – In the run-up to the annual 'Day of Nature', the management team of DP World Antwerp rolled up their sleeves yesterday during an active team building exercise in bird sanctuary 'The Tufted Duck' (de Kuifeend), not far from the Antwerp Gateway terminal at the Deurganckdok. Together with volunteers from the Belgian nature conservation organisation 'Natuurpunt' - called 'The Green Tornadoes' - a total of more than 500 young reed plants were planted and 127 plant grids were set out. In addition, 250 hawthorn and blackthorn trees were planted as a buffer zone to minimize disruption to reed and water birds.

‘The Tufted Duck’ is an internationally protected bird sanctuary in the middle of the port area on the right bank. Recently, 10 hectares were remediated by the Flemish government and given to Natuurpunt to develop a swamp vegetation with reed land. This area will become a new breeding habitat for endangered reed and water birds such as bluethroat, sedge warbler, marsh harrier and bittern. Reed marshes also have an important potential to capture CO2 and store it for the long term. DP World Antwerp donated no less than €13,000 for the construction of this reed and swamp vegetation.


Partnership with Natuurpunt

Natuurpunt is an independent volunteer association that ensures the protection of vulnerable and endangered nature in Flanders. Last year, DP World Antwerp entered into a partnership with Natuurpunt to restore and maintain wetland nature reserves in the port. In 2022, the terminal operator donated €11,000 for the maintenance of mudflats and marsh areas and the repair of a tractor. With this partnership, the global logistics player wants to support and protect the unique ecosystems in the port area.


Water: the life artery for DP World

With its ports, terminals and marine services, water forms a crucial basis for DP World's activities. Improving and protecting oceans is therefore at the forefront of the sustainability strategy of the global logistics provider. DP World has various partnerships worldwide to protect oceans, restore ecosystems, clean up coasts, improve water supplies and develop educational programs. In addition, DP World is one of the partners this year at COP28 in Dubai, the 28th United Nations Conference on Climate Change from 30 November to 12 December 2023.


Suzanne Kwanten, Director EDS Operations and Health, Safety, Security & Environment, DP World Antwerp:

“Rolling up our sleeves in nature not only promotes the group atmosphere, but also ensures a visible impact in the environment in which we operate. By restoring and maintaining wetland nature reserves in the port, we safeguard biodiversity and protect endangered fauna and flora. Our partnership with Natuurpunt is therefore fully in line with DP World's global sustainability strategy to commit to the protection of oceans and waterways.”


Willy Ibens, Chairman, Natuurpunt Antwerp North & Kempen:

“It was a particularly pleasant experience for our volunteers to work with the management of DP World on nature restoration in one of the most important bird areas in Flanders. By maintaining and developing wet nature in and around the port of Antwerp, we ensure a healthy balance between economy and ecology, together with Port of Antwerp Bruges and the port users. We thank DP World for their spirit, their commitment, and their support on this ‘Day of Nature’.”