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ERRADICADESCANTIA. Project for the elimination of tradescantia luminensis from the river banks of the Ulla river. #

This project aims to free the undergrowth of the Ulla-Deza fluvial system so that native species such as penduculate, common ash, alder or cyclamen daffodil (endemic species) can enjoy their native habitat.
The coordinating partner of the project is the environmental association AMABUL.
The association was founded in 2004 in Vedra with the aim to defending and promoting the natural values of the area, to improving and recovering natural spaces and to raising social awareness on this issue. In 2008, the association focuses most of its work on environmental education through various projects. One of its main assets to carry out these projects are the volunteers of the association.
Since 2017, Amabul has been monitoring the evolution of invasive exotic plants on the banks of the Ulla River. As it is well known, biological invasions are the second biggest problem in the biosphere, only behind the destruction of habitats, to which biological invasions also contribute.
As a result of this follow-up work, in 2019, the Association starts a specific project for the protection of the Ulla River, being aware of the enormous environmental value of this water resource. The Ulla River, one of the most important rivers in Galicia, and which flows into the Atlantic Ocean, due to its length of more than 130 km and its geographical location, is a heritage of special relevance for the protection of our river waters and, of course, also for our ocean where it finally flows into. The protection of its ecosystem, is the first step to keep our waters clean and protected. This is how the ERRADICADESCANTIA project was born, a project for the removal of the Tradescantia fluminensis from the banks of the Ulla River. It is a project of action, training, dissemination and environmental volunteering.

Problem addressed #

Since 2015, Amabul has been aware of the situation of invasive species of flora in the Ulla-Deza River system as it passes through the municipality of Vedra, neutralising possible sources of invasion; in 2019, it discovers how poor management of the riverbanks triggers the expansion of the exotic invasive species “Tradescantia fluminensis” to 7 more linear kilometres of river. This species prevents the natural regeneration of the riparian forest, directly affecting the impoverishment of the river water quality.

Objectives & implementation #

The aim is:

  • On the one hand, to environmentally recover the fluvial ecosystem of the Ulla River through the control and eradication of the exotic invasive species “Tradescantia fluminensis”, included in the Spanish Catalogue of Exotic Invasive Species, and

  • On the other hand, to raise awareness, educate, train and foster the citizens participation regarding the environmental and social importance of fluvial ecosystems, as well as the problem of biological invasions, as second environmental problem of the biosphere like magnitude.

In order to achieve these objectives, a series of annual activities are designed:

  • More than 20 environmental conferences for the control and elimination of the invasive species and on the river ecosystems.

  • Carrying out 2 environmental volunteer camps for the control and eradication of the species, and for the enhancement of river ecosystems.

  • 75 environmental awareness-raising workshops in educational centers.

  • Publication of educational materials on the importance of protecting our rivers.

Stakeholders #

The main stakeholders in this project would be the partners and volunteers who work in the project development, the public administrations that support this project or benefit from its results and finally, the society in general.

With regard to the beneficiaries, the following target groups are to be found:

  • Infant, primary and secondary school pupils (workshops and didactic materials to raise awareness).

  • Young people (environmental and training workshops and environmental volunteer camps).

  • Third age (environmental and training workshops).

  • General public.

Timescale #

Since 2019, the project is re-launched every February each year, and ends in November of the same year.

Fields of application #

Social economy and blue citizen empowerment for building more resilient communities to environmental threats.

Transferability #

he methodology used in the ERRADICADESCANTIA project is perfectly transferable to any other blue project, given that it is based on an integral and significant planning approach, where the participants go through the processes of “awareness raising”, “sensitization”, “acquisition of attitudes and aptitudes”, “evaluation capacity” and “participation, both individually and collectively” in a non-linear way, thus completing an experiential learning process with a great impact on their blue environment.

Impact & Results #

Since the project was born in 2019, both the impact and the results of the project have continued to grow. Thus, based on the annual programme of activities presented in previous sections, we have observed that the annual increase in the number of participants is more than 25%:

  • 1,222 participants in 2019.
  • 1,604 participants in 2020.
  • 2,097 participants in 2021.
  • 2,752 participants in 2022.

It is also worth noting the increase in the annual area of river forest environmentally recovered:

  • 154 m2 2019.
  • 360 m2 2020.
  • 479 m2 2021.
  • 666 m2 2022.

Recovering a total of 1,656 m2 of riverbank soil for the installation of native vegetation.

External links #

https://www.amabul.org/

https://www.amabul.org/accion-ambiental/erradicadescantia/

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