The Government is launching the first phase of an operation to clean the Rocher cliffs in order to get rid of some plant species and thereby reduce the risk of rock falls onto Port de Fontvieille.
With a view to preserving local biodiversity, the Department of Urban Amenities and the Department of the Environment provided support to the operator, EMTA, to ensure that the company had access to recommendations from scientists at the Conservatoire Botanique National Méditerranéen de Porquerolles (CBNMed, Porquerolles National Mediterranean Botanical Conservatory), particularly on the problem of invasive exotic plant species.
To this end, an inventory of the sectors to be targeted by the clean-up operation has been drawn up in order to establish an exhaustive list of exotic species and species of heritage interest. This will enable the sectors which present a challenge from a preservation perspective to be identified.
Training on best practices for managing invasive exotic plant species was also conducted before work began, and operators have been given species identification sheets to help them carry out their work on the cliff.
The operators are aiming to eradicate all invasive plants, preserve heritage species, and remove rocks which may pose a danger. Everything that is removed will be collected in the large white bags attached to the cliff.
The clean-up operation will have three phases, to be carried out during winter, and is set for completion by late 2019 when the areas located below the Oceanographic Museum will be cleaned.
The project will conclude with monitoring of the eradication of invasive exotic plant species at the sites. The entire programme forms part of a strategy to preserve biodiversity and the unique nature of the cliff’s flora.