EuroAirport certified for its contribution to the protection of biodiversity: binational award from “Natur & Wirtschaft” and “Biodiversité pour tous”

At an official ceremony today, 21 September 2017, following a press conference at EuroAirport, Nicole Graber, landscape architect from the Swiss foundation “Natur & Wirtschaft” (Nature & Business) and Gabrielle Goetz, president and founder of the Alsatian association “Biodiversité pour tous” (Biodiversity for All) handed over to the management of EuroAirport two certificates marking its contribution to the protection of biodiversity at the airport site.

It may come as a surprise to some, but EuroAirport is an oasis of biodiversity and home to 112 insect, 6 amphibian, 9 bat, 59 bird and 259 plant species in an area of around 540 hectares. This includes very rare plants like the weasel’s snout (Misopoates orontium) or the dainty damselfly (Coenagrion scitulum), a kind of dragonfly mainly found in the Mediterranean region and which belongs to the pond damselfly family (photos available on request).

These are the results of an inventory conducted back in 2013 with a view to cataloguing the flora and fauna present on the airport site. The data led to EuroAirport applying for bi-national certification of the airport site by the Swiss foundation “Natur & Wirtschaft” and its counterpart in Alsace, the French association “Biodiversité pour tous”.

The certification process included a site inspection at the end of 2016 by the “Biodiversité pour tous” association. The following aspects were highlighted as key positive findings:

-    the airport’s efforts to protect biodiversity and its practical implementation at the site
-    the existence of more than 30 percent of natural areas
-    planting of mostly endemic species
-    the rich abundance of flora and fauna at the site.

At the same time, EuroAirport and “Biodiversité pour tous” defined some aspects for improvement: creation of sheltered areas for wild animals provided flight safety is not compromised, the sourcing and use of alternatives to pesticides and the earliest possible introduction of permeable parking areas, accesses and paths as part of future construction and modernisation work.

Based on the results of the site inspection and the envisaged improvements, “Biodiversité pour tous” decided to award EuroAirport its quality label. The certification process by the Swiss foundation “Natur & Wirtschaft” took place at the beginning of 2017 and is based on the work of “Biodiversité pour tous”.

The binational certification reflects EuroAirport’s sustainable development policy, which aims to strike a balance between business, social responsibility and environmental protection with regard to future airport activities and development measures.