Beneo to transform neighboring settling pond into a wildlife sanctuary
Beneo (Parsippany, NJ and Mannheim, Germany) promotes biodiversity near its production facility in Oreye, Belgium, in collaboration with environmental non-profit organizations, Natagora and Natagriwal. The organizations are transforming a former settling pond and its surroundings into a sanctuary for wildlife, including rare birds, beavers, bats, deer and frogs, and help protect native and endangered species.
“This project is our chance to play an active role in restoring part of the natural balances lost over time by human activity”, declared Caroline Moitroux, environmental engineer in charge of the biodiversity program at Beneo, in a report. communicated. “Our settling ponds are an environment in which flora and fauna thrive. We consider it our responsibility to preserve and maintain them. As Beneo’s expertise lies in food ingredients, we sought the advice of experts in this field. Through our collaborations with environmental non-profit organizations Natagora and Natagriwal, we are taking informed steps to establish a healthy and natural ecosystem in and around our ponds.
Thirty years ago, the water from the settling tank was used to wash and transport sugar beets to the Oreye processing plant in Beneo. The water was passed through the pond to allow the soil to settle on the pond bed and the clean water to be reused. Since then, the pond has not been disturbed and many species of wildlife have made their home in the pond and the surrounding environment. From now on, the three associations will implement a series of projects that will further develop and enrich the biodiversity of the space. For example, Natagriwal works with nearby farmers to establish ecological corridors between crops and wild areas and sustainable practices.
“The cooperation with local farmers and Natagriwal is very good and constructive,” said Aurélie Borensztein, field advisor for agro-environmental and climate methods at Natagriwal. “The various meetings have already produced concrete results on the site. Let us quote for example the bands and plots dedicated to the small fauna of the plains.
Natagora protects the native flora and fauna within the sanctuary through initiatives such as species auditing and habitat creation. The organization is currently converting a disused electric cabin for bird watching and ringing.
“The Hesbaye region is mainly made up of open-field areas where few stagnant bodies of water remain,” explains Thierry Ory, project coordinator at Natagora. “Settling ponds are therefore becoming very attractive for biodiversity, especially for birds and dragonflies. All parties are now convinced of the possibilities of coexistence between industrial processes and the enhancement of nature.
The area covers 30 hectares and includes four other ponds which are still used as settling ponds for the water used to wash the chicory roots which are then treated in the facility.