What is being done to tackle the problems of Invasive
Preventing the harmful impact of non-native species on
ecosystems is a key goal of the European Biodiversity Strategy,
highlighted in the Defra
Review of Non-native Species Policy in 2003. Following
An Invasive Non Natives Species Framework Strategy for Great
Britain was launched in 2008.
Its aim is to minimise the risks posed by non-native species and
reduce their impact.
The Strategy sets out a framework for action from Government
departments, related bodies and stakeholders.. It is focuses
- Prevention. A robust risk assessment process identifies
significant threats from new invasions and invasion pathways.
- Early detection, surveillance, monitoring and rapid response
that involves detecting newly-arrived non-native species.
- Mitigation, control and eradication. Risk assessment analysis
identifies priority species for control and eradication.
- Building awareness and understanding among the general
The Strategy is implemented through the GBNon-Native Species
(NNS) mechanism, which is co-ordinated by the Non-Native Species
In Europe, the Bern Convention initiative for a
European Strategy for Invasive Alien Species was developed
in collaboration with the European Section of the IUCN Invasive
Species Specialist Group in 2000. It was approved by the Bern
Convention Standing Committee in 2003. The Europe-wide Strategy
promotes the creation and use of co-ordinated measures and
co-operative efforts to prevent or minimise the impacts of invasive
alien species on Europe’s biodiversity. It also addresses their
economic impacts and impacts on human health.
In the European Union the total cost to the EU of the impacts of
invasive non-native species is estimated to be at least €12.7
billion a year. In 2008 the
European Commission adopted a ‘1Communication
presenting policy options for an EU Strategy on Invasive
Species’, which described four possible options for a future
EU strategy. They were:
Option A - Business as usual.
Option B - Maximising the use of existing
legal instruments along with voluntary action.
Option B+ - Adapted existing legislation.
That is an approach that is similar to Option B but with amendments
to existing legislation on plant/animal health and an extended list
of “ecological threat species” under the Wildlife Trade
Option C - A new dedicated EU legal
In June 2009 the Environment Council adopted conclusions on
developing the EU Strategy, which is planned for 2010. Key points
for action include comprehensive risk assessment, effective control
of introduction pathways, a comprehensive EU inventory drawing on
existing initiatives, and an early warning system. The Council
re-iterated the need for a comprehensive EU framework that works
with existing regimes, fills gaps in legislation and establishes a
proportionate and cost-effective EU response to invasive
Invasive non-native species are considered to be a major and
growing problem globally and several multilateral
environmental agreements (MEA) have focused on ways to limit
their spread and impacts. Most notably the Convention on
Biological Diversity agreed fifteen guiding
principles for the prevention, introduction and mitigation of
invasive non-native species impacts at the sixth Conference of the
Parties (COP) in 2002. At COP 9 decisions were taken on
recommendations from a review undertaken by an Ad Hoc Technical
Expert Group (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/11/INF/4).
The review identified the lack of capacity as a major constraint
to the prevention, eradication and control of Invasive non natives.
The inadequacies included phytosanitary and quarantine control,
early detection and rapid response systems, adequate field
equipment; inter-sectoral planning, economic valuation, and
integrated policy and legal frameworks.
The Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA), an
Agreement developed under the Convention on Migratory Species, considered a
undertaken by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) related
to the status and trends on non-native waterbird species in the
Resolution 4.5 reflected on the implications for Contracting
The Convention on Wetlands, called the "Ramsar
Convention” has requested its Scientific and Technical Review
Panel (STRP) to “Prepare comprehensive and up-to-date global
guidance on invasive species in relation to wetlands and their
management, in cooperation with the Global Invasive Species
Programme (GISP) and other relevant organizations” for CoP 11.
Comprehensive information on UK Legislation in relation to
non-native species can be found on the
Department for Environment, Food and rural Affairs website.
Towards and EU Strategy on Invasive
Species. Com(2008) 789 final.