The LIFE RIPARIAS project: reaching integrated and prompt action in response to invasive alien species

Florence Limet, Xavier Vermeersch, Ben Van Der Wijden, Olivier Beck, Nicolas Pardon, Michiel Stas, Sonia Vanderhoeven, Julie Goffette, Jérémie Guyon, Dido Gosse, Bram D'hondt, Damiano Oldoni, Jasmijn Hillaert, Tim Adriaens, Etienne Branquart, Jasmijn Hillaert, Adrien Latli, Eric Joiris, Pierre Joye, Augustin SmoosMarie Patinet, Arnaud Monty, Stijn Van Onsem, Jolien Van Droogenbroeck

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Abstract

Tackling Invasive Alien Species (IAS) requires a coherent approach across administrative boundaries, especially so in continuous aquatic habitats. LIFE RIPARIAS targets a selection of invasive aquatic and riparian plants, and freshwater crayfish (species of Cabomba, Elodea, Hydrocotyle, Lagarosiphon, Ludwigia, Myriophyllum; Heracleum, Impatiens, Lysichiton; Faxonius, Pacifastacus, Procambarus). Its goal is to optimize the management of these IAS at river basin scale within a multiregional pilot area in Belgium (Dyle, Senne, and Marcq river basins).
LIFE RIPARIAS aims to achieve 1) a data infrastructure for early warning and management reporting on emerging and widespread IAS; 2) decision support for prioritizing management actions by maximizing consistency, efficiency and resource allocation; 3) an evaluation of management actions; 4) the sharing of expertise and best management practices.
A novel evidence-based workflow for decision making on IAS management at the river basin scale will be developed, translating national management objectives to concrete actions at site level and maximizing cost effectiveness. The decision support tool will be made available to IAS managers across the country as well as to other Member States.
Active participation and cooperation between decision makers, field managers and the public are essential. The ten project partners include public bodies, public research institutes, academia and associations, and are all committed to work together to tackle the many challenges ahead.
Additionally, species identification sheets, booklets and best practice management guides will aid identification and management in the field. Information and training sessions will spread knowledge as widely as possible. There will also be volunteering opportunities for citizens who wish to actively contribute to surveillance and management.
This innovative project (2021-2026) is co-funded by the LIFE programme of the European Union and the three Belgian regions for a total budget of about 7 million euros (LIFE19 NAT/BE/000953).
Original languageEnglish
Pages5
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 19-Apr-2022

Thematic List 2020

  • Invasive species

EWI Biomedical sciences

  • B003-ecology

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