Israel and the P.A. Working to Prevent the Spread of the Intrusive Ambrosia Plant

 

​The Civil Administration coordinated a joint tour for representatives of the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture and the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection and their Palestinian counterparts  in the Tulkarem region. The object of the tour was preventing the spread of the Ambrosia plant - also known as Ragweed.

On Thursday, 11.5.2017, Israeli representatives on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Israel Nature and Parks Authority toured along the Nablus River near Tulkarem and met with their counterparts from the Palestinian Authority. The purpose of this joint tour, which was organized by the District Coordination and Liaison office in Ephraim and the Agriculture Department of the Civil Administration, was to measure the extent of the spreading Ambrosia plant throughout the area. The representatives formulated methods of reducing the proliferation of this plant which causes damage to the natural environment, agriculture in the area and becoming a possible health hazard for the surrounding population.

 

This plant, commonly known as  Ragweed (Ambrosia confertiflora), is considered an invasive plant that arrived in the region in the early 1990s and is problematic for two particular reasons. The first concerns the agricultural aspect– the Ambrosia plant spreads quickly, prevents growth of other plants and even affects the agricultural crops and natural systems of the region. The second reason concerns health–pollen grains of the plant pose a health hazard on such a level, that 20% of people who come in contact with the plant have an allergic reaction to it.

Due to the importance of this issue, an Israeli team was established in 2015 to prevent the widespread growth of this plant. The team succeeded in limiting the proliferation of the plant in Israel and published professional guidelines for the treatment of the Ambrosia plant in open areas and agricultural land, but the steps being taken on this issue are still in progress. Parallel to the Israeli team, the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture has begun to deal with the issue and has prepared comprehensive plans for the treatment of the Ambrosia plant.

 

The successful tour that took place by the Nablus River near Tulkarem was in fact intended to formulate a plan that would be agreed upon by both sides, for the prevention of the spread of the Ambrosia plant that has reached an advanced stage in the Palestinian Authority, especially along the Nablus River. Towards the end of May, a professional conference will be held in Israel with the participation of Israelis and Palestinians, in which the Israeli team will present proposals for the treatment of the Ambrosia plant. A joint plan will be formulated to prevent its growth and solve the problem directly at its source.