Decisions on the management of alien invasive species (IAS) are often taken in an uncoordinated manner due to the diversity of stakeholders involved and the fragmented nature of the information available. This makes it difficult to have a clear vision of the rationale for actions and their effectiveness, and to establish a coherent IAS management strategy.
As the number of IAS and the costs associated with their impacts are likely to increase, appropriate, transparent and coordinated choices urgently need to be made about the species and sites to be prioritised for management. These decisions must be based on the best available knowledge of the species, their distribution and management to improve the effectiveness of the actions taken and to ensure that the management strategy is successful. This is where LIFE RIPARIAS comes in.
Through LIFE RIPARIAS, the Belgian authorities are working together to optimise the management of IAS in aquatic environments across regions. The project runs between 2021 and 2026 with co-financing of the Belgian authorities responsible for IAS management and the European Union in the framework of the LIFE programme.
LIFE RIPARIAS aims to optimise IAS management by developing a science-based workflow which will establish priorities for action. It will guide decision-makers and managers in the decision-making process for IAS management, informing the best management methods while maximising the cost-effectiveness of actions. The LIFE RIPARIAS approach is based on cooperation between management practitioners, policy makers and the general public. It specifically aims to
·Improve IAS monitoring with the help of the public to achieve rapid eradication of emerging invasive alien species and controlled control of more widespread species.
·Develop clear guidelines for prioritisation of actions.
·Develop a management strategy in a pilot area, and apply this strategy to aquatic plants and crayfish.
·Evaluate the effectiveness of the actions undertaken.
·Promote the LIFE RIPARIAS approach in Belgium and elsewhere.