Asturias, a region of northwest Spain atop the Iberian peninsula, is known for its rugged coast, mountains, religious sites and medieval architecture. It is also home to DuPont’s Asturias plant, located in the northern Iberian peninsula in Spain, which encompasses more than 80,000 acres. The region is predominantly deciduous forests, but has lost much of its original native vegetation to agricultural development and the spread of invasive species. It’s not surprising then that one of the main focuses of Asturias’ WHC gold-certified program is forest habitat and restoration.
Originally used as a production facility in the 90s, DuPont Asturias has evolved to become a center for specialty services and corporate finances. Much of the plant’s success is attributable to DuPont community relations efforts. The company sought advice locally before it designed a plant in harmony with its surroundings. Landscapers planted 160,000 trees and shrubs and restored the area’s original habitats, including peat bogs and wetlands.
Since then, the team at Asturias collaborates with government agencies, environmental contractors and other partners to manage the 340 acres of forest habitat on the site. They work tirelessly to monitor the habitat, regularly removing invasive species and replanting native flora. When invasive eucalyptus was discovered during recent annual monitoring, the team removed it from more than 25 acres on the site’s northern perimeter. The area was replanted with 800 native trees, including chestnuts, oaks, birches and cherry trees.
Another focus of the conservation program at Asturias is La Furta. Once lost to agricultural use, La Furta is now a thriving, primarily wetland habitat that has become an essential stop on the migratory route to and from Europe and Africa for many avian species. Designated as one of Spain’s Special Protection Areas for Migratory Birds, academics, ornithological groups and nature photographers regularly visit the site to see the birds that call these wetlands home. In addition, the fields around the healthy wetlands are managed for managed for grazing livestock.
DuPont’s commitment to conservation extends far beyond the borders of the site. With an abundance of bird, butterfly, plant and livestock species on the site, Asturias regularly opens its gates to the community, providing opportunities to view these species and learn about them throughout the year. From guided tours to large-scale celebrations, DuPont Asturias has hosted thousands of visitors since the inception of its conservation program.
One special day celebrated annually is the World Wetlands Day. Created to “raise global awareness about the vital role of wetlands for people and our planet”, World Wetlands Day is observed on February 2 each year. And each February, DuPont Asturias’ hosts a celebration at its wetlands, welcoming members of the local community, employees and their families to enjoy the site and its wildlife.
The success of the restoration efforts at DuPont Asturias – in terms of both biodiversity and community outreach – is a shining example of the impact corporate conservation can have and highlights DuPont’s continued commitment to manage its lands to enhance habitat for wildlife.
- White Papers
- Relevant President’s Blog or Wildlife Blog Posts:
- Project Guidances:
- WHC Webinars:
- 5 Innovative Approaches to Habitat Regeneration
- Assessing the Value and Benefits of Trees: An Intro to i-Tree
- Conservation and Community Engagement Beyond Your Fenceline
- Invasive Species: An Introduction
- Invasive Species: Resources and Techniques
- The Three “E”s to Success: Employee, Education and Engagement
- The Vital Role of Business in Biodiversity: Building the Case for Corporate Conservation
- We Need a Buffer: Protecting Wetlands by Installing and Monitoring Riparian Buffer Zones
- Wetland Habitats: Identification, Monitoring and Use as Outdoor Classrooms