Numerous international and regional instruments, binding and nonbinding, have been developed to deal with the problem of alien invasive species. The following have direct or indirect implications for forests and the forest sector.
Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity
On 29 January 2000, the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity adopted a supplementary agreement to the Convention known as the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. The Protocol seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology. It establishes an advance informed agreement (AIA) procedure for ensuring that countries are provided with the information necessary to make informed decisions before agreeing to the import of such organisms into their territory.
§ Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety: www.biodiv.org/biosafety
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
One of the key agreements adopted at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro was the Convention on Biological Diversity which has three main goals: the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits from the use of genetic resources.
Article 8 (h) of the Convention calls on Parties to “as far as possible and as appropriate: Prevent the introduction of, control or eradicate those alien species which threaten ecosystems, habitats or species.” At the sixth Conference of the Parties (COP-6), Parties adopted guiding principles and a programme of work for the implementation of Article 8 (h) (decision VI/23).
§ Invasive alien species and the CBD: www.biodiv.org/programmes/cross-cutting/alien
§ Article 8 (h): www.biodiv.org/decisions/?dec=VII/13
§ Guiding principles for the prevention, introduction and mitigation of impacts of invasive alien species: www.biodiv.org/decisions/?dec=VI/23
Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)
The CMS (or Bonn Convention) is an intergovernmental treaty that aims to conserve terrestrial, marine and avian migratory species throughout their range. The Convention states that parties that are Range States of a migratory species listed in Appendix I shall endeavour, that international agreements for the conservation and management of migratory species should aim, to prevent, reduce or control factors that are endangering or are likely to further endanger the species, including strictly controlling the introduction of, or controlling or eliminating, already introduced alien species.
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
CITES is an international agreement that aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. The Conference of the Parties, at its thirteenth meeting in Bangkok, Thailand in 2004, recommended that Parties:
§ consider the problems of invasive species when developing national legislation and regulations that deal with trade in live animals or plants;
§ consult with the Management Authority of a proposed country of import when considering exports of potentially invasive species, to determine whether there are domestic measures regulating such imports;
§ consider the opportunities for synergy between CITES and the Convention on Biological Diversity, and explore appropriate cooperation and collaboration between the two Conventions on the issue of introductions of alien invasive species.
§ Trade in alien species - Thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, Bangkok, Thailand, 2-14 October 2004: www.cites.org/eng/res/13/13-10.shtml
Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar Convention)
In Resolution VII.14 on Invasive Species and Wetlands, the seventh Conference of Contracting Parties calls upon parties to address the environmental, economic and social impact of invasive species on wetlands within their jurisdictions and to take account of the methods of control and solutions for combating invasive species.
§ Ramsar Convention: www.ramsar.org
§ Invasive species and wetlands: www.ramsar.org/cop7/cop7_doc_24_e.htm
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Biosecurity is one of FAO’s Priority Areas for Inter-disciplinary Action. Biosecurity is a strategic and integrated approach that encompasses the policy and regulatory frameworks that analyse and manage risks in the sectors of food safety, animal life and health, and plant life and health, including associated environmental risk. It covers the introduction of plant pests, animal pests and diseases, and zoonoses, the introduction and release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and their products, and the introduction and management of alien invasive species and genotypes.
One tool developed by FAO, in association with the organizations responsible for international standard setting in sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) matters, to assist in providing information to countries to achieve biosecurity is the International Portal on Food Safety, Animal and Plant Health (IPFSAPH). This Web site provides a single access point for the latest versions of international and national standards, regulations and other official materials relating to SPS measures in food and agriculture including fisheries and forestry.
§ FAO Priority Area for Inter-disciplinary Action - Biosecurity for Agriculture and Food Production: www.fao.org/biosecurity
§ FAO Technical Consultation on Biological Risk Management in Food and Agriculture, Bangkok, Thailand, 13-17 January 2003: www.fao.org/es/ESN/food/meetings_biosecurity_en.stm
§ Reference document: ftp://ftp.fao.org/es/esn/food/tc_bangkok/tc_brm_03_2en.doc
§ International Portal on Food Safety, Animal and Plant Health (IPFSAPH) - Invasive alien species: www.ipfsaph.org/servlet/CDSServlet?status=ND1jdGh0dHB3d3dmYW9vcmdhb3NpcGZzYXBoaXNzdWVrZXl3b3Jkc2ludmFzaXZlYWxpZW5zcGVjaWVzJjY9ZW4mMzM9KiYzNz1rb3M~
§ Alien invasive species: impacts on forests and forestry: www.fao.org/forestry/aliens
§ Biosecurity in forestry: www.fao.org/forestry/site/biotec
Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP)
GISP was established in 1997 to address global threats caused by alien invasive species, and to provide support to the implementation of Article 8(h) of the CBD. In its initial stages, GISP was coordinated by the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) in conjunction with the World Conservation Union (IUCN), CAB International and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
§ Global Invasive Species Programme: www.gisp.org
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
The ICAO urges its Contracting States to support one another's efforts to reduce the risk of introducing, through civil air transportation, potentially invasive alien species to areas outside their natural range.
§ Resolution A-33-19 - Preventing the introduction of invasive alien species: www.icao.int/icaonet/dcs/9848/9848_en.pdf
International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC)
The International Plant Protection Convention is an international treaty relating to plant health, to which 132 governments (as of 30 December 2004) currently adhere. The purpose of the IPPC is to secure common and effective action to prevent the spread and introduction of pests of plants and plant products, and to promote appropriate measures for their control. The Convention provides a framework and a forum for international cooperation, harmonization and technical exchange between contracting parties dedicated to these goals. Its implementation involves the collaboration of national plant protection organizations (NPPOs), which are the official services established by governments to discharge the functions specified by the IPPC, and regional plant protection organizations (RPPOs) which function as coordinating bodies on a regional level.
The IPPC is governed by the Interim Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (ICPM) which adopts International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs). The ICPM established the IPP as the forum for national reporting and exchange of more general information among the phytosanitary community. The IPPC Secretariat coordinates the activities of the Convention and is hosted by FAO.
§ International Phytosanitary Portal (IPP): www.ippc.int/IPP/En/default.jsp
§ Text of the Convention: www.fao.org/legal/treaties/004t2-e.htm
§ Asia and Pacific Plant Protection Commission (APPPC): www.ippc.int/servlet/CDSServlet?status=ND0xMzQ5NyY2PWVuJjMzPSomMzc9a29z
§ Comunidad Andina (CA): www.ippc.int/servlet/CDSServlet?status=ND0xMzQ5MyY2PWVuJjMzPSomMzc9a29z
§ Comite de Sanidad Vegetal del Cono Sur (COSAVE): www.cosave.org
§ Caribbean Plant Protection Commission (CPPC): https://www.ippc.int/servlet/CDSServlet?status=ND0xMzQ3MCY2PWVuJjMzPSomMzc9a29z
§ European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO): www.eppo.org
§ North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO): www.nappo.org
§ Organismo Internacional Regional de Sanidad Agropecuaria (OIRSA): ns1.oirsa.org.sv
§ Pacific Plant Protection Organization (PPPO) - Plant Protection Service of the Secretariat for the Pacific Community (SPC): www.spc.int/pps
§ Agreement for the Establishment of the Near East Plant Protection Organization (Rabat, 1993): www.fao.org/legal/treaties/024t-e.htm The agreement for the creation of a 10th RPPO, the Near East Plant Protection Organization (NEPPO), was signed in 1993. Two more countries must deposit their ratification or accession with FAO to bring NEPPO into force.
International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO)
Scientific research in IUFRO is spread over a number of divisions which concentrate on particular areas. Division 7 is dedicated to forest health and includes research on all issues relating to the health of forests such as pests, diseases and pollution. Within this division, Unit 7.03.12 exclusively addresses the issue of alien invasive species and international trade
World Conservation Union (IUCN)
The Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) is part of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of IUCN. The ISSG is a global group of 146 scientific and policy experts on invasive species from 41 countries that provides advice on threats from invasives and control or eradication methods to IUCN members, conservation practitioners and policy-makers.
IUCN has produced a set of guidelines, the IUCN Guidelines for the Prevention of Biodiversity Loss Caused by Alien Invasive Species, designed to help countries, conservation agencies and concerned individuals to reduce the threats posed by alien invasive species to global biodiversity.
§ Global Invasive Species Database: www.issg.org/database
§ IUCN Guidelines for the Prevention of Biodiversity Loss Caused by Alien Invasive Species: www.iucn.org/themes/ssc/pubs/policy/invasivesEng.htm
World Health Organization (WHO)
Geneva, 1982 - adopted by the 22nd World Health Assembly in 1969, amended by the 26th World Health Assembly in 1973, and the 34th World Health Assembly in 1981
The purpose of the World Health Organization’s International Health Regulations is “to prevent, protect against, control and provide a public health response to the international spread of disease in ways that are commensurate with and restricted to public health risks, and which avoid unnecessary interference with international traffic and trade.” They are intended to strengthen the use of epidemiological principles as applied internationally to: detect, reduce or eliminate the sources from which infection spreads; improve sanitation in and around ports and airports; prevent the vector dissemination; and encourage epidemiological activities on the national level.
§ International Health Regulations: www.who.int/csr/ihr/en
World Trade Organization (WTO)
Article 20 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) allows governments to act on trade in order to protect human, animal or plant life or health, provided they do not discriminate or use this as disguised protectionism. In addition, there are two specific WTO agreements dealing with food safety and animal and plant health and safety, and with product standards.
§ The Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Agreement (SPS) which allows countries to set their own standards based on science which should be applied only to the extent necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health.
§ The Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement (TBT) which aims to ensure that regulations, standards, testing and certification procedures do not create unnecessary obstacles.
§ General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT): www.sice.oas.org/agreemts/wto_e.asp#WTO%20|%20GATT
§ Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures: www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/sps_e/sps_e.htm
African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
The contracting States shall undertake to adopt the measures necessary to ensure conservation, utilization and development of soil, water, flora and faunal resources in accordance with scientific principles and with due regard to the best interests of the people. The Convention states that Parties shall take all necessary measures for the protection, conservation, sustainable use and rehabilitation of vegetation cover including, inter alia, taking concrete steps or measures to control fires, forest exploitation, land clearing for cultivation, grazing by domestic and wild animals, and invasive species (Article VIII).
§ Convention text: www.africa-union.org/Official_documents/Treaties_%20Conventions_%20Protocols/nature%20and%20natural%20recesource.pdf
Agreed Measures for the Conservation of Antarctic Fauna and Flora
Participating governments shall prohibit introduction of non-indigenous plants and animals into the Treaty Area except in accordance with a permit. Permits shall be drawn in terms as specific as possible and issued to allow importation only of animals and plants listed in Annex C. When any such animal or plant might cause harmful interference with the natural system if left unsupervised within the Treaty Area, such permits shall require that it be kept under controlled conditions and, after it has served its purpose, it shall be removed from the Treaty Area or destroyed. Governments must undertake to ensure that all reasonable precautions are taken to prevent the accidental introduction of parasites and diseases into the Treaty Area (Article IX (1-4)).
§ Convention text: www.antarctica.ac.uk/About_Antarctica/Treaty/Flora_and_Fauna.html
ASEAN Agreement on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
Kuala Lumpur, 1985
The Agreement states that Parties shall endeavour to regulate and, where necessary, prohibit the introduction of exotic species (Article 3(3c)).
§ Agreement text: www.aseansec.org/1490.htm
Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Resources (Bern Convention)
A legally-binding international instrument in the field of nature conservation, the Bern Convention covers the natural heritage of the European continent and extends to some states of Africa. It aims to conserve wild flora and fauna and their natural habitats and to promote European cooperation in that field. Article 11(2)(b) of the Convention states that Contracting Parties are to strictly control the introduction of non-native species.
§ Convention text: www.coe.int/t/e/Cultural_Co-operation/Environment/Nature_and_biological_diversity/Nature_protection
Benelux Convention on Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection
The Convention aims at regulating the cooperation between the three Governments of Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands in the field of the conservation, the management and the restoration of nature and landscapes. Parties to the Convention are required to prohibit the introduction of non-native animal species into the wild without authorization from the competent national authority, pre-introduction assessments, and communications between parties about planned introductions (Benelux Council of Ministers Decision 17.10.83).
§ Convention text: sedac.ciesin.org/entri/texts/benelux.landscape.protection.1982.html
Convention for the Conservation of the Biodiversity and the Protection of Wilderness Areas in Central America
This Convention obliges Central American countries to take measures to ensure the conservation and maintenance of biodiversity, and to ensure that its uses are sustainable. Among other provisions, it would obligate countries to identify and protect important areas, both as habitat and for other reasons, and to restore degraded areas. Parties agree that all mechanisms shall be established for the control or eradication of all exotic species which threaten ecosystems, habitats and wild species (Article 24).
§ Convention text: eelink.net/~asilwildlife/ca_bio.html
Convention on the Conservation of Nature in the South Pacific
Parties shall carefully consider the consequences of deliberate introduction into ecosystems of species not previously occurring therein (Article V (4)).
§ Convention text: www.spc.org.nc/coastfish/Asides/conventions/apia.htm
North American Free Trade Agreement
NAFTA includes a chapter on sanitary and phytosanitary measures which states that parties may adopt, maintain or apply any sanitary or phytosanitary measure necessary for the protection of human, animal, plant life or health in its territory or relating to the introduction, establishment or spread of an animal or plant pest or disease taking into account conditions relating to transportation and handling, between those areas.
§ NAFTA: www.sice.oas.org/trade/nafta.asp
§ Chapter 7 - Section B - Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures: www.sice.oas.org/trade/nafta/chap-073.asp
North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC)
The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) is an international organization created by Canada, Mexico and the United States under the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC). The CEC was established to address regional environmental concerns, help prevent potential trade and environmental conflicts, and to promote the effective enforcement of environmental law. The Agreement, which complements the environmental provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), states that the Council of the CEC may develop recommendations regarding exotic species which may be harmful (Article 10 (2)(h)).
§ Agreement text: www.cec.org/pubs_info_resources/law_treat_agree/naaec
§ Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC): www.cec.org
Phytosanitary Convention for Africa
Signed by heads of African States and Governments of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) now the African Union (AU), the Convention calls upon Member States to take such measures of quarantine, certification or inspection, or other necessary measures as may be considered by the Organization of African Unity in respect of any living organisms, plants, plant material, seeds, soil, compost or packing material (including containers) and any other article the importation of which has been considered by the OAU to constitute a threat to agriculture in any part of Africa.
§ Convention text: www.africa-union.org/Official_documents/Treaties_%20Conventions_%20Protocols/Phyto_Sanitary%20Convention_for_Africa.pdf
Protocol Concerning Mediterranean Specially Protected Areas
The Protocol states that Parties shall take necessary measures regarding the prohibition of the destruction of plant life or animals and of the introduction of exotic species; the regulation of any act likely to harm or disturb the fauna or flora, including the introduction of indigenous zoological or botanical species; and any other measure aimed at safeguarding ecological and biological processes in protected areas (Article 7).
§ Protocol text: sedac.ciesin.org/entri/texts/acrc/mspecp.txt.html
Protocol concerning Protected Areas and Wild Fauna and Flora in the Eastern African Region Nairobi, 1985
The Protocol states that Contracting Parties are to prohibit the intentional or accidental introduction of alien species which may cause significant or harmful changes to the Eastern African region (Article 7) and to regulate any activity likely to harm or disturb the fauna or flora, including the introduction of non-indigenous animal or plant species (Article 10).
§ Convention text: sedac.ciesin.org/entri/texts/EastAfrPro.html
Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean Barcelona, 1995
The Protocol calls upon Parties to:
§ regulate the introduction of any species not indigenous to the specially protected area in question or of genetically modified species (Article 6d);
§ regulate the intentional or accidental introduction of non-indigenous or genetically modified species to the wild and prohibit those that may have harmful impacts on the ecosystems, habitats or species in the Protocol area (Article 13(1));
§ implement all possible measures to eradicate species that have already been introduced when, after scientific assessment, it appears that such species cause or are likely to cause damage to ecosystems, habitats or species in the Protocol area (Article 13(2)).
• Protocol text: europa.eu.int/eur-lex/pri/en/oj/dat/1999/l_322/l_32219991214en00030017.pdf
Protocol for the Implementation of the Alpine Convention in the Field of Nature Protection and Landscape Conservation
The Protocol (Article 17) states that Contracting Parties must guarantee that species of wild fauna and flora not native to the region in the recorded past are not introduced. Exceptions are possible when the introduction is needed for specific use and may not have adverse effects for nature and for the landscape.
§ Secretariat of the Alpine Convention: www.convention-alpine.info/alpen.php
Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty
The Protocol (Annex 2, Article 4) states that no species of animal or plant not native to the Antarctic Treaty area shall be introduced onto land or ice shelfs in the Antarctic Treaty area except in accordance with a permit. Permits shall be issued to allow the importation only of the animals and plants listed in Appendix B and shall specify the species, numbers and, if appropriate, age and sex and precautions to be taken to prevent escape or contact with native fauna and flora. Any plant or animal for which a permit has been issued shall, prior to expiration of the permit, be removed from the Antarctic Treaty area or be disposed of by incineration or equally effective means that eliminates risk to native fauna or flora. Any other plant or animal introduced into the Antarctic Treaty area not native to that area, including any progeny, shall be removed or disposed of, by incineration or by equally effective means, so as to be rendered sterile, unless it is determined that they pose no risk to native flora or fauna. The Protocol requires Parties to take precautions to prevent the introduction of micro-organisms (e.g. viruses, bacteria, parasites, yeasts and fungi) not present in the native fauna and flora.
§ Protocol text: www.antarctica.ac.uk/About_Antarctica/Treaty/protocol.html