State Council revokes charterer kayak operator license, activity continues but will have to adapt

The State Council has revoked the license to operate a kayak on a charterer. A decision taken following a complaint by several environmental associations. The activity continues but he will have to adapt.

Associations such as Natagora or Inter-environnement Wallonie denounced the negative effects of passing thousands of kayakers into Lesse. “too much‘licensing it So far it allows a daily operating capacity of 1,369 launches and exempts 1,825 launches for 20 days per year, outside of the spawning period (May and June) and when the water level is between 18 and 70 cm. But for the associations, the impact study conducted when the initial permit was requested in 2017 was not comprehensive enough. Therefore, the Council of State followed the advice of the associations: “It’s not against kayaks this approach but against the way it developsexplains Juan de Hemptine, president of the . Association
Defense of Namur Valleys Sites (ADSVN), also included in the complaint. There are too many kayaks and this pressure is very detrimental to the biodiversity but also to the neighborhood which suffers from the disturbance of these thousands of fairways in an exceptional natural location.“.

The kayak continues

From now on, SPRL boat operator Dinant Tourisme et Pitance is awaiting a final decision from the Walloon Environment Minister, Celine Teller, within 100 days. If the license has already been revoked, in practice, this will not change much. TheThe competent authority is then returned to the position it was in when the administrative appeal was filed: “Therefore, during the period of investigation of the appeal, the first court decision – in this case the decision of the technical officer of June 19, 2017 granting permission for 1,370 daily launches and denying 2,200 launches per day for 20 days per year, restores its enforceabilitySPW explains.

In this case, the operator will have 3 years to apply for a new permit that takes into account the points raised by the State Council and the shortcomings of the initial impact study: “It’s not like we’ve been waiting happily for it to fall on us. Over the course of 4 years, we have taken the lead, as Olivier Bettanese explains. We study the biological effect by observing the number of fish and birds or the size of plants and the resilience of the environment is good. Nature does well. So we will make proposals to meet expectations and we are ready to make concessions. As far as harassment is concerned, you know, there are quite a few associations that fight against them, which is about a dozen people who base their arguments on impressions while we have studies. They have a problem with everything to do with nature.

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