The Council of Tenerife, through the Natural Environment Management and Security area, removed from the island’s natural spaces in 2021 a total of 678,677 kilos of remains of invasive exotic flora, of whichs have been transferred to the landfill 170,860.2 kilos and have been incorporated into the land andin the form of fertilizer 507,817.5 kilos. That is, only a quarter of the waste has been taken to the landfill.
“The count of actions against invasive exotic flora shows an increase in the number of plants that have been removed last year, on the one hand this is good news, because it means that the work plan is working at full speed”, indicated the Minister of Management of the Natural Environment, Elizabeth Garcia, but added that “Invasive plants remain a serious threat for protected areas and for insular biodiversity”.
“A clear example of these threats are earthworks or garden waste, which can be sources of transfer of these species, so unified criteria must be established to manage this waste and that are already carried out with the municipalities”, said the counselor.
To reach this figure, the twenty crews in charge have carried out 1,136 performances around the island, including reviews of areas where it is necessary to review the work to secure the land and prevent species from germinating again. The worked area comprises 2,568.7 hectares, this implies 359.78 square meters more than in 2020.
Among the different invasive species with which we have worked, the Duster (Selvana Cortaderia) and the Indian prickly pear (opuntia dellinii) that account for almost half (44.6%) of the total kilos removed from 60 different plant species.
That is why the Cabildo de Tenerife recommends the population to use species from authorized shops and nurseries, since “they know the species and their invasive capacity, we recommend always asking before planting new species and be wary of the showy flowers that grow on roadsides and lots, as well as those offered by friends and family. Do not take home any plant”, indicates the biologist.
On the other hand, among the recommendations not to distribute potentially dangerous species, from the Natural Environment area it is pointed out that pruning debris and soil should not be thrown into the middle, even if it is clean or dry, because it can carry seeds.
In 2022, through the NOE (New Employment Opportunities) program, 29 unemployed people related to the management and protection of the Insular Environment were hired, with the aim of favoring labor hiring, in a contractual internship modality, thus favoring the insertion work, while projects of general interest are carried out by the beneficiary public entities, as in this case, the improvement of knowledge of the conservation of insular biodiversity, the management of protected natural spaces and the Natura 2000 Network, and in this way, develop strategies for adaptation and mitigation against the consequences of climate change.
This action is co-financed by the European Social Fund through the Canary Islands Operational Program European Social Fund 2014-2020 with a co-financing rate of 85%. The total cost of the project amounts to a budget of 781,285 euros, of which 533,428.68 euros are requested from the SCE.