The project ECOPLANTMED: “ECOlogical use of native PLANTs for environmental restoration and sustainable development in the MEDiterranean region” is a joint Mediterranean initiative based on the collaboration among seed banks, research institutes and institutions dealing with native plant conservation and management.
The project aims to contribute to halting the loss of biodiversity and to promote a sustainable development model in the Mediterranean region by enhancing the conservation of native plants and promoting their use in habitat restoration and the plant production sector.
ECOPLANTMED is co-financed by the European Union through the ENPI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme. The project was selected under the 2nd call for standard projects and addresses Priority 2: Promotion of environmental sustainability at the basin level, and Measure 2.1: Prevention and reduction of risk factors for the environment and enhancement of natural common heritage.
Why does ECOPLANTMED promote the use of native plants?
The Mediterranean Basin is one of the most bio-diverse regions and the third most significant plant diversity hotspot worldwide with 25,000 plant species, over half of which are found nowhere else in the world. A mere 5% of the original extent of the hotspot remains with relatively intact vegetation and this is mainly due to human activities.
Using native plants for habitat restoration or as a substitute for exotic ornamental plants on both public and private land can contribute to long-term protection and enhancement of our natural and cultural heritage as well as landscape protection, management and planning. Furthermore, using native plants can increase ecosystem resilience to climate change and combat the proliferation of invasive alien plants.
The project ECOPLANTMED total budget is 1.050 million Euro and it is financed, for an amount of 0.945 million Euro (90%), by the European Union (ENPI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme) through the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument.
24 months: January 2014 – December 2015