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LIFE RIPARIAS takes integrated and rapid action against invasive alien species

In the LIFE RIPARIAS project (Reaching Integrated and Prompt Action in Response to Invasive Alien Species), the Flanders Environment Agency (VMM), together with 11 project partners, is taking integrated and prompt action against invasive alien species, across regional borders. The VMM is leading the coordination of control campaigns.

RIPARIAS: what and why?

Invasive alien species or exotic species are one of the biggest threats to biodiversity, ecosystems and human activities in Europe. They are particularly numerous in the Scheldt river basin district and their presence has been noted increasingly frequently since the 1990s.
Although the number of invasive alien species in European countries is increasing rapidly, there is a lack of standardised and evidence-based protocols to effectively address this global problem.

Purpose of the project

LIFE Riparias - sfeerbeeldLIFE RIPARIAS aims to address deficiencies in exotic species planning by implementing a comprehensive and scientifically based workflow that will guide decisions regarding the management of these invasive species.

The project aims to translate management objectives into operational plans while maximising the cost-effectiveness of management measures. As such, our intention is to take all the actors involved into account within the decision-making chain at Member State and river basin level. The project is directed at invasive aquatic and riparian plants and crayfish species. It will be tested in the basins of the Dijle, the Mark and the Zenne in the Scheldt river basin district and made available throughout Belgium and other EU Member States.

The objectives of RIPARIAS are:

  • To improve the workflow that is used to monitor the spread of exotic species, to combat key populations and to evaluate management results.
  • To develop clear guidelines for prioritising management actions.
  • To implement management actions relating to certain invasive aquatic and riparian plants and crayfish species in 3 basin areas and to evaluate their success.
  • To develop an evidence-based workflow for exotic species management decision-making across Europe.

During the project, the VMM will play an important role in monitoring and controlling harmful exotic species in and along the waterways. The VMM is leading the coordination of control campaigns – which will be rolled out from 2023 onwards.

RIPARIAS in Europe

LIFE RIPARIAS is being carried out on behalf of the European Commission within the LIFE programme led by Brussels Environment.

Project partners

Leefmilieu Brussel 

Agentschap voor Natuur en Bos

Service Public Fédéral de Programmation Politique Scientifique 

Contrat Rivière Dendre asbl

Contrat de Rivière Dyle-Gette asbl

Contrat de Rivière Senne

Eigen Vermogen van het Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek

Service Public de Wallonie - Agriculture, Ressources naturelles et Environnement

Université de Liège 

Vlaams Gewest - Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek

Flanders Environment Agency (VMM)

VMM contributes to the international policymaking and the implementation of environmental obligations.

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