Yesterday, bremenports was awarded the ESPO Award 2016 in recognition of its strategies in safeguarding and further upgrading the nature and ecosystem in the port area (on land and/or waterside). The ESPO Award was handed out by DG MOVE’s Director General, Henrik Hololei, during a ceremony at the Egmont Palace in Brussels on Wednesday night.
Looking back at the selection process in this 8th edition of the ESPO Award, the Chairman of the Jury, Pat Cox, said: “All the projects are good examples of port development combined with an ecological consciousness. In the jury's assessment process of the nature conservation and enhancement programmes of the competing ports we looked to law and regulation for guidance but beyond the law also for a deeper sense of conviction, values and commitment.” He further said that every port entry is a winner when a port commits to combining economic and operational activities with the protection of its natural environment and the opening up of that resource to its host society and users.
The theme of this year’s ESPO Award was ‘Nature in Ports’. Bremenports GmbH & Co. KG won the 2016 Award for its project, Luneplate, which is the first project to implement large and varied tidal habitats behind the main dyke in connection with a special flood barrage. The project is an excellent example of an integrated approach combining economy and ecology, bringing world port development requests together with the needs of a very sensitive environment, i.e. the UNESCO World Heritage Area “Wadden Sea”. On the basis of intensive stakeholder communications, a sustainable solution has been created that will also be successful under the conditions of climate change. Intensive monitoring stated the effective implementation. The comprehensive visitors’ concept opens the area to the public and provides transparent information. Last but not least, the Luneplate project is an example of organisational changes to a better societal integration of ports.
Reflecting more specifically on the bremenports project, the Chairman of the Jury said: “The Luneplate project has managed to turn the negative environmental impact caused by several former port extensions and infrastructure projects in Bremerhaven into actions ensuring both environmental aspects and social needs. In the Port of Bremen, nature protection goes hand in hand with the economic development.”
The ESPO Award 2016 saw 11 projects from ports from all over Europe compete for the prize. Bremenports GmbH & Co. KG beat shortlisted projects from the ports of Cartagena, Dunkirk, Guadeloupe and Riga.
Banner picture caption (from left to right): Robert Howe, bremenport; Isabelle Ryckbost, ESPO Secretary General; Uwe von Bargen, bremenports; Henrik Hololei, Director General DG MOVE; Eamonn O'Reilly, ESPO President and Pat Cox, Chairman of the Award Jury.