The report on Invasive Alien Species has been published today by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The scope of this assessment is to critically evaluate evidence on the trends, drivers and impacts of biological invasions and outline key responses and policy options for effective control of invasive alien species and mitigation of their impacts in order to safeguard nature, nature’s contributions to people, and good quality of life.
The Invasive Alien Species are a subset of all alien species and can be introduced via multiple pathways, intentionally or not. Invasive alien species are recognized as one of the five major direct drivers of biodiversity loss globally, alongside land- and sea-use change, direct exploitation of organisms, climate change and pollution. Effective management of biological invasions is key to achieving the targets set by the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals, and can contribute to the achievement of other global targets.
The numbers confirms we introduced something like 37.000 Alien Species in the world, 3.500 became Invasive Alien Species due to their negative impacts and diffusion. Biological invasions have caused both the decline and the extinction of native species and have been a significant driver in 60 per cent of documented global animal and plant extinctions. The loss of the biotic uniqueness of biological communities through biotic homogenization is a major negative impact of biological invasion – without considering the costs, estimated in more than 423 billions of dollars (huge underestimation, according to the scientists). Most of the consequences affect the most fragile populations and category. At the present, policies have not been adequate to respond to this crisis. Only 20% of countries have something in place, while 45% do not invest at all in alien species management. Not acting together wakens any policy, goes without saying.
Globally, biological invasions and their impact are increasing rapidly and predicted to continue rising in the future, further amplificating the consequences on the different environments. Since the drivers of change are not reducing, the extensions and pace on consequences should even gain pace.
But there is also a good news: Biological invasions and their adverse impact can be prevented and mitigated through effective management
Curbing the rising number of invasive alien species and reducing their impact is achievable. There are many decision frameworks and approaches for supporting management of invasive alien species at all stages of the biological invasion process. While prevention is the best option, eradication, containment and control are also effective in specific contexts. Management of biological invasions benefits from engagement with stakeholders and Indigenous Peoples and local communities. Needless to say, Ambitious progress in biological invasion management can be achieved with an integrated approach to governance that combines and connects key strategic actions – which means nature-based policies and international collaboration…
Here’s the report in numbers:
Policy and management: