Launch of the Invasive Non-native Species Framework Strategy for Great Britain

 

The GB Strategy was launched in Wales by Jane Davidson, Environment, Sustainability and Housing Minister for the Welsh Assembly Government, shown here spraying giant hogweed, an invasive non-native plant.Invasive non-native species are considered to be one of the greatest threats to wildlife worldwide, and estimated to cost the world’s economies hundreds of billions of dollars. Controlling their spread is key to conserving our native wildlife.

 

On 28 May this year England, Scotland and Wales launched the Invasive Non-Native Species Framework Strategy for Great Britain, the first co-ordinated plan to reduce the threat to Britain’s native biodiversity from invasive non-native species. The Northern Ireland Assembly and the Republic of Ireland Government are working on a joint strategic approach.

 

Following a comprehensive non-native species policy review report in 2003, and a consultation process, the strategy builds on a three-stage approach to tackling invasive species that was agreed in 2002 by the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.  The approach involves:

  • helping to prevent introductions by raising awareness of the risks and increasing understanding of the impacts;
  • enabling early detection and rapid response to introductions before they become major problems; and,
  • developing longer-term control programmes based on sound science.

 

Strategy implementation will be overseen by the GB Non-native Species Programme Board, which is the focal point for GB action by the English, Welsh and Scottish administrations. JNCC represents the country conservation  bodies (Countryside Council for Wales, Natural England and Scottish Natural Heritage) on the Programme Board, providing expert advice on conservation issues to do with invasive non-natives. The strategy and more information on non-natives can be found at http://www.nonnativespecies.org/

 

The strategy was discussed following the launch at the Non-native Species Stakeholder Forum, an annual one day event held this year at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. The forum programme included four workshops on aspects of strategy implementation to help develop clear roles for everyone involved in tackling this complex issue - from central to local government, from land managers to academic researchers, and from conservation bodies to trade organisations

 

The strategy was well received in GB and internationally, with Britain being recognised as one of the leaders in tackling invasive non-native species in Europe.  Eladio Fernandez-Galiano, Head of the Biological Diversity Unit, Council of Europe welcomed the “strategy for Great Britain as a strong example of a national framework that takes the European Strategy forward."

 

In England the strategy was launched by Environment Minister Jeff Rooker, and in Scotland by Michael Russell, Minister for the Environment, Scottish Government. The GB strategy was launched in Wales by Jane Davidson, Environment, Sustainability and Housing Minister for the Welsh Assembly Government.

 

The strategy can be downloaded from http://www.nonnativespecies.org/documents/Invasive_NNS_Framework_Strategy_GB_E.pdf

The Northern Ireland Assembly and the Republic of Ireland Government joint strategic approach can be found at ( http://www.invasivespeciesireland.com/ )

 

Jessa Battersby

Head of European Advice (JNCC non-native species lead)

Tel: +44 (0) 1733 866808