Clients are looking for the best solution. That is not always the cheapest or easiest one. Sustainability is also becoming increasingly important. This implies a focus on the circular use of resources and nature, protection against the impact of climate change and new ways to produce and use energy.
As a marine and civil contractor, it is our responsibility to offer solutions that benefit both people and nature. The AquaForest project in Guayaquil is an example of a project that aims to do just that.
This project involves conducting a feasibility assessment for a potential pilot project on reclaiming mangrove habitats in the Gulf of Guayaquil, Ecuador, through the circular reuse of dredged material. The pilot project will integrate nature-based solutions in climate mitigation and adaptation strategies in coastal environments, and will also focus on socio-economic and biodiversity challenges.
This approach is the first of its kind in South America. This new concept will be thoroughly investigated during this project. First in Ecuador, with a view to further scaling up through possible follow-up projects. Then also worldwide, as mangroves are an important link in ecosystems everywhere.
Last Monday, negotiators from some 200 countries at the The United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP15) signed a historic agreement. The AquaForest project fits perfectly within one of the targets to restore 30% of degraded ecosystems by 2030.
This feasibility assessment project, coordinated by Jan De Nul Group, is a collaboration with South Pole, Mantis Consulting, Haedes, and the Ecuadorian university “Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL)”. For the realization of the envisaged pilot project, a wider consortium of international partners has been established. The IUCN has now decided to support the feasibility assessment of the AquaForest project, which is a big step forward.
IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) is an important international Union of government and civil society organisations, working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. Created in 1948 as an initiative coming from UNESCO, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network. IUCN provides a neutral space in which governments, NGOs, scientists, businesses, and local communities can work together to solve climate and environmental challenges and achieve sustainable development.