The project aims to eradicate the invasive alien plant species Ailanthus altissima from the Alta Murgia National Park.

The main objectives of the project are to:

  • halt the loss of EU biodiversity and strengthen its conservation in the Alta Murgia National Park, the fulfilling the “EU biodiversity strategy to 2020
  • safeguard and improve the conservation status of the most important natural habitats and wild species in the Alta Murgia National Park, protected under the EC Habitat and Wild Birds Directives
  • sustain the biological functionality of the Park’s natural ecosystems, thus reducing its vulnerability to any current or expected climate change
  • provide an innovative, eco-friendly and sustainable chemical strategy to eradicate and control A. altissima that wil also increase efficacy and minimize herbicide use, thus implementing the Directive on the Sustainable use of pesticides
  • enhance environmental and human health protection against the risks and impacts posed by exposure to chemicals in Natura 2000 sites
  • disseminate the project results and improve the knowledge base among the local population and stakeholders with regard to biodiversity, invasive alien species and the invasive power of ailanthus, with the aim of sensitizing public awareness and preventing the new introduction of such species
  • detect, map, monitor and inventory ailanthus-infested areas in the Alta Murgia National Park
  • train farmers and land owners on herbicide use in natural areas