Raising awareness on Invasive Alien Species and planting native species (2020 call)

Budget: 39,938.82 EUR
Coordinator: Société Réunionnaise pour l'étude et la Protection de l'Environnement - Réunion Nature Environnement

To meet the main LIFE4BEST objective selected, namely the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services, this project aims to put in place concrete actions to fight against Invasive Alien Species (IAS).

Réunion Island is home to exceptional biodiversity, and, with the arrival of man, many exotic species were introduced. The invasions have upset the native environments by impoverishing the populations or even completely destroying them, sometimes causing the disappearance of endemic species, unique in the world. In Réunion, in the Mascarene archipelago, IAS are a central issue that must be actively taken into account. Already well established for decades, these species are spreading rapidly and jeopardizing the survival and regeneration of native species and their habitats.

Inform about biodiversity conservation issues
This project targets the Brûlé district, in the Hauts de Saint-Denis, in the north of the island. In 2016, there were 592 households, representing 1% of the capital’s population. The objective is to reach 180 households during the first quarter of 2022, i.e. 30% of the sector’s population. Two-thirds of households are owners and 68% of dwellings are houses with gardens.

Promote the planting of native and endemic species in gardens
The strategy is to adopt a win-win approach. Among the voluntary inhabitants who agree to uproot one or more IAS observed, a voucher to recover a native plant will be given to them. Communication materials will be distributed so that they can obtain maintenance advice for their plant but also have a reminder of this awareness.

Animate a rural district, bordering the Réunion National Park
Following home visits, a plant exchange will be organized to distribute the plants. This event will make the action known and raise public awareness of IAS. The cross-cutting objective is to enliven the neighborhood by holding a festive event and involving the local community.