Flanders rejects grant for environmental non-profit Dryade

Flemish Environment minister Zuhal Demir has rejected the application for a start-up grant for the environmental organisation Dryade, Het Belang van Limburg reoprts. Demir confirmed the news on Thursday evening.

Dryade has been involved in numerous cases against Flanders' environmental policy in recent years. It has fought against the Ineos ethane cracker in the port of Antwerp, a planned "work-shop district" near Brussels and Flanders' pesticide policy.

The organisation is also active at European level. In January, it asked the European Commission to review its rules on green investments in aviation and shipping, arguing that they are not sufficiently backed up by scientific research.

'Reactive legal action'

At the beginning of 2023, Dryade applied to the Flemish Environment department for a start-up grant as an environmental association. In June, the department said it was eligible for a start-up grant if it could fulfil a number of conditions. However, the final decision lay with Demir.

She has now rejected Dryade's application. Demir believes that the organisation focuses too much on reactive, legal action against various authorities and regulations.

"Zuhal Demir is taking away funding from those who use legal means to defend nature"

"Subsidised environmental associations should also focus on informing and raising awareness among various social actors or on consulting and advising political and economic actors," she said.

"Zuhal Demir is taking away funding from those who use legal means to defend nature," Dryade said on ​ X. It has now launched a crowdfunding campaign.



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