Alterias, alternative plants to invasive plants

AlterIAS (ALTERnatives to Invasive Alien Species) (www.alterias.be) is a LIFE+ project especially focusing on the horticulture sector and the ornamental industry.

It outlines a series of awareness and preventive measure actions in order to limit the deliberate dissemination of invasive plants (or invasive alien species) in gardens, parks, ornamental ponds, green spaces and roadsides that are the starting points of invasions in natural environments.

It is a biodiversity conservation project that aims to induce a change in attitude of the horticultural sector in the broad sense:

1. horticultural professionals: producers and distributors of ornamental plants, managers of green spaces (the main public or private departments responsible for plantations);
2. amateur gardeners;
3. horticultural education.

The purpose of the LIFE+ project, in collaboration with the horticultural sector, is to implement a code of conduct that describes concrete measures for reducing intentional introduction of these species (e.g., by replacing invasive species by alternative plants in catalogues of garden centres).

The project covers the whole of Belgium.

The project is coordinated by the Biodiversity & Landscape Unit of the University of Liege, Gembloux Agro Bio Tech, in partnership with the Horticultural Technical Centre of Gembloux, the Proefcentrum voor Sierteelt Destelbergen and the Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment FPS. It is co-financed by the European Commission (under the LIFE+ programme) and the regional administrations in charge of environment in Belgium.