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Addressing biodiversity impacts in risk analysis: the need for information exchange on invasiveness

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  1. Addressing biodiversity impacts in risk analysis: the need for information exchange on invasiveness Maj De Poorter, Mick Clout, Michael Browne Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG), IUCN Centre for Biodiversity and Biosecurity, University of Auckland, New Zealand

  2. Definitions used • Invasive alien species (IAS): alien species whose introduction and/or spread threaten biological diversity (CBD, 2002). • Introduction: movement by human agency, indirect or direct, of an alien species outside of its natural range - past or present (CBD 2002) Note: can be within a country • Biodiversity = Biological Diversity: Diversity of species (including lower taxa), habitats and ecosystems

  3. IAS affect plants Photo: DOC

  4. Plants can be major IAS Photo: Scott Kam

  5. MAGNITUDE OF THREAT: Invasive alien species are a large and growing threat worldwide, affecting biodiversity and livelihoods Photo: Fen Beed

  6. UN Convention on Biological Diversity • Article 8(h): ‘….prevent the introduction of, control or eradicate those alien species that threaten ecosystems, habitats and species.’ • Decision VI/23: Guiding principles, etc… • Decision VI/9: Global Plant Strategy (Target 10) • Draft POW Island Biodiversity

  7. International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) • ISPM 11 - Rev 1 spells out • Commodity itself can be invasive (e.g. the garden plant can be a potential weed) • Secondary effects of plant pest on other taxa can be covered • Effect on plant via effect on other taxa can be covered • Effects on native plants can be covered

  8. Complexity of biodiversity impacts The environmental impacts caused by IAS are wide ranging and often more complex and surprising than the impacts of, for example, agricultural weeds

  9. Complexity: “Dual Personality Species”             Photo: S. Ziller

  10. Complexity: “Time lags”, adaptation Invasion easy to notice – hard to fight Invasiveness not easy to notice – but easy to fight Population size Time Time

  11. Complexity: “surprising” indirect effects • Invasive alien plant Chromolaena odorata, in S. Africa: major invader of wetlands…… • is a potential risk to: CROCODILESEX RATIO

  12. Complexity: ecosystem meltdown Xmas Island : millions of migrating red crabs…. Killed by Yellow crazy ants

  13. Negative impacts: • trees • seedlings • species compo- sition • litter breakdown

  14. Solution • 1) “guilty until proven innocent” - In the context of alien species, unless there is a reasonable likelihood that an introduction will be harmless, it should be treated as likely to be harmful (IUCN 2000). • 2) Prevention, prevention, prevention!

  15. Prevention – Intentional introductions • White list – of alien species where risk analysis led to a determination that they are ‘low’ risk - and authorisation for introduction has been granted. • Black list – of alien species where risk analysis led to a determination that they are ‘high’ risk and therefore are prohibited for introduction. • Grey list – (further) review / analysis is required before a decision can be made. Introduction is not authorised at this stage. • New Zealand applies this white-black-grey list approach to all intentional introductions, and includes risks to biodiversity….

  16. Prevention: Unintentional introductions • Unintentional introductions minimised through risk-based management of pathways • Example: NZ Risk analysis for exotic spiders associated with imported table grapes. Risk analysis included human health and risk to native fauna and flora. Resulted in tightening of IHS. • Cooperation: • Ministry Agriculture and Forestry • Department of Conservation • Ministry of Health

  17. Prevention  Risk Analysis • Under the IPPC, a risk analysis for a country will assess • the risk of entry, • risk of establishment and • potential damage that the alien species may cause • options for management • Including biodiversity risks is a challenge: wider range of impacts, time lags, complexity, •  Information on prior invasiveness elsewhere is critical

  18. A) Risk of entry • Information required includes: • pathways associated with a species in the past • up to date information on the global distribution - native and alien (can “get on” a pathway from alien range too) • Pathway : introduction, but also for “spread” • (spread usually has a large human component)

  19. Risk of establishment: vulnerability of “receiving” environment • CLIMEX, GARP, BIOSECURE… • An invasive species can show a wider climate and/or environmental tolerance in alien range (e.g Possum in NZ, Salvinia in Sri Lanka) • Predictions & modeling should be based on native and alien distributions

  20. Potential damage: threats to Biodiversity • Information about impacts caused elsewhere (e.g. predation, competition, hybridisation, etc) can be used • IAS + exposure of native biodiversity  impacts • Biodiversity Impacts caused by IAS will be different from one area to another • It will usually not be possible, nor should it be required, to predict the exact details • (“PRA is a decision making tool • not an ecosystem model” Randall)

  21. Potential Damage: Risk of Invasiveness "Only one factor has consistently high correlation with invasiveness: whether or not the species is invasive elsewhere“ (Wittenberg et al. 2001). Photo: Landcare

  22. Management options • Information on prevention, early detection and rapid response, eradication and control methods used elsewhere • Lessons learned from success and failure • need to be shared widely

  23. To summarise • Globally sourced information is needed • ecological characteristics • prior invasiveness • biodiversity impacts caused • global distribution (alien range as well as native) • introduction pathways • pathways for spread (including human) • management, and lessons learned

  24. ISSG’s role • The Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) of IUCN is involved in several "vehicles" for such international information exchange, including 1) Manages the Global Invasive Species Database (GISD) 2) Planned development of a "global register of invasive species“ 3) The listserver Aliens-L 4) Contributes to Global Invasive Species Information Network (GISIN)

  25. Global Invasive Species Database • International cooperation • Collaborative effort of ISSG, UOA, Landcare, NBII • 50,700 hits per day (700 individual users) www.issg.org/database and www.invasivespecies.net/database

  26. Global Invasive Species Database • Authoritative information on IAS that affect biodiversity • Management tool as well as raising awareness • Standardised, simple format • Free& easily available • Globally sourced information for local deployment • Ecology, pathways • Distribution and biostatus (by country) • Management (generic and location specific) • References, links, contacts

  27. 2) Development global register invasive species • Aim of such global register / masterlist: • Provide a warning that an alien species has been considered to have biodiversity impacts anywhere in the world • Users can follow up on those cases that are most relevant to them • Information from • National and regional sources • Agencies, but also practitioners • Will include information not formally published • ISSG and IUCN expert networks.

  28. 3) Aliens-L • Dedicated to IAS information and related issues • Focus on environmental invasive species • You can make use of Alien-L without subscribing to it • Searchable archive: http://cain.nbii.gov/cgi-bin/aliens-l.cgi • Practitioners helping each other • Email based rather than internet • Anarchic and grassroots • 600 subscribers • It works! R.Wittenberg

  29. 4) The Global Invasive Species Information Network (GISIN) • Will provide a platform through which IAS data and information from participating databases can be accessed. • Build the capacity of network members - ‘capacity building’ database that will be offered at no cost • ISSG contributions to development of the GISIN include development of an exchange standard for sharing IAS information (see the draft Invasive Species Profile Schema Login: ias Password: ias2). https://www.biodiv.org/doc/restricted/gisin/default.aspx

  30. Food for thought (1) : Internet  Digital Divide Providing internet access is not enough - it disenfranchises those with slow, unreliable or NO internet access (e.g S Pacific, Large Parts of Africa,…)

  31. Food for thought (2): Conservation Commons • Information is power • Social equity – communities must be able to solve their own IAS problems • IUCN believes that information for Conservation must be freely available • Conservation Commons has the following principles: • Open Access • Mutual Benefit • Rights and Responsibilities

  32. CONCLUSION • IAS management requires International information exchange (as well as national and regional) – prior invasiveness information is critical • Structured as well as “grass roots” approaches are required • Internet is good but not the whole answer • Information that will assist IAS management for conservation must be freely available • We welcome assistance – partnerships, resources

  33. Prevention of IAS protects biodiversity, livelihoods, economy, health Prevention of IAS protects current and future trade Thank you www.issg.org