Climate change poses a significant threat to forest ecosystems. The LIFE FAGESOS project emerges as a direct response to this challenge, aiming to address and remedy one of the most serious threats: the outbreak of Exotic and Invasive Plant Pathogens that negatively impact natural and semi-natural forest ecosystems.
Diseases associated with Phytophthora are increasing their impact and distribution in ecosystems such as holm oaks, chestnut forests, and cork oak forests within the Mediterranean basin. Rising temperatures and the frequency of extreme weather events like floods and droughts have intensified this threat. This issue is exacerbated by the lack of public awareness, human impact in forested areas, and the new EU regulation on fertilizers, limiting the use of Potassium Phosphonate, an efficient and environmentally friendly molecule to mitigate the impact of the disease.
LIFE FAGESOS Project
LIFE FAGESOS, part of the European Union’s LIFE Program, receives financial support to develop innovative and effective strategies in preserving forest ecosystems, promoting sustainability, and environmental protection in the Mediterranean region. The project began in 2022 and is scheduled to conclude in September 2027.
In total, LIFE FAGESOS has a budget of over 6 million euros and involves various universities, research centers, and companies from Spain, Italy, and Portugal, including Atens.
Innovation and Sustainability for Resilient Forests
LIFE FAGESOS aims to provide tools to counteract these diseases and enhance forest resilience. The project focuses on providing regional maps to assess the impact of Phytophthora-associated diseases in different climatic scenarios. Additionally, protocols for Integrated Pest Management adapted to specific ecosystems will be developed, integrating new biomolecules and microorganisms to control pests, supplemented by hygiene measures to prevent disease spread.
Atens and LIFE FAGESOS
As an integral part of LIFE FAGESOS, Atens plays a crucial role in the implementation and success of the initiative. The project will contribute to delivering risk assessment tools and developing Integrated Pest Management protocols in Italy, Spain, and Portugal.
Within these protocols, the capacity of various microorganism-based formulations developed by Atens is being evaluated, with the potential to address the specific problems of each crop.
Furthermore, Atens will actively engage in communication and dissemination activities to raise awareness among stakeholders and promote forest preservation strategies.
This project represents a collective effort to address one of the most pressing threats to our Mediterranean forests. By joining forces with key stakeholders like Atens, it is expected that LIFE FAGESOS will provide concrete and sustainable solutions to preserve the health of our forest ecosystems against the challenges of climate change, safeguarding their biodiversity for future generations