As a part of project activity A3 Education of the project team, employees of the Institute for Environment and Nature at the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, along with partners on the project “LIFE CONTRA Ailanthus – Establishing control of invasive alien species Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven) in Croatia LIFE19 NAT/HR/001070″ – Public institution ” National Park Krka”, Public institution for management of protected areas of Dubrovnik-Neretva county and Public company Vrtlar d.o.o. from Dubrovnik, visited the National Park Alta Murgia, province of Apulia in south eastern Italy, from April 12-15, 2022.
Dr. sc. Francesca Casella, leader of the LIFE Alta Murgia project, from the Institute of Sciences of Food Production (Istituto di Scienze delle Produzioni Alimentari) led the participants of a study tour through the Alta Murgia National Park, where the LIFE project “Control and eradication of the invasive exotic plant species Ailanthus altissima in the Alta Murgia National Park” was implemented from 2013 to 2019. The participants of the field trip attended a demonstration of different methods of removing Ailanthus and visited the project areas from which Ailanthus was successfully removed through the Italian LIFE project. In addition, employees of Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development presented the LIFE CONTRA Ailanthus project to their Italian colleagues, and they exchanged experiences and previous practices of removing this invasive alien species.
This study trip provided an important transfer of knowledge for the LIFE CONTRA Ailanthus project, considering that the conservation activities are aimed on the removal of Ailanthus within four areas of the ecological network Natura 2000 and in three historic cities in the Mediterranean area.