IUCN Commission on Environmental Law, IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group, with the help of contributors to the Global Invasive Species Programme; Consultant in Environmental Policy and Law, 37 rue Erlanger, 75016 Paris, France; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The paper outlines the multiple impacts of invasive alien species and explains the rationale for coordinated international action to minimize their environmental as well as economic effects. It outlines the different components and current state of development of the international regulatory framework relevant to invasive alien species, with reference to plant and animal protection, biodiversity conservation, transportation and multilateral trade instruments. Some gaps and inconsistencies at national, regional and global levels are identified, together with indicators for possible ways forward.
This paper provides a response to four important questions relating to invasive alien species (IAS):
Why are invasive alien species an international environmental issue? Discussion covers:
What instruments and tools have been developed? Discussion covers:
Introductions of species beyond their natural range are rising sharply because of increased trade, transport, travel and tourism associated with globalization. These provide vectors and pathways for live plants, animals and biological material to cross biogeographical barriers that would usually block their way.
Range and scale of impacts
Most alien (non-indigenous) species do not become invasive or cause problems in their new locations: many have great benefits to society, for example in agriculture, horticulture, forestry and aquaculture. However, the subset of alien species that do become invasive have major environmental, economic, public health or political implications for the country or countries concerned. For example:
Environmental impacts. Invasive alien species are now considered to be the second cause of global biodiversity loss after direct habitat destruction and among the top drivers of global environmental change (Sala et al., 2000).
Economic impacts. One estimate puts general IAS-related costs to the United States as at least $100 billion/year (Pimentel et al., 2000). Costs associated with individual species include:
the golden apple snail (introduced to the Philippines from Latin America as a high protein food source: estimated losses to rice crops during the 1980s of $1 billion)
European gypsy moth (introduced into North Carolina in 1993: four-year eradication programme cost $19 million)
sea lamprey (the United States Department of State spends over $10 million on control measures per year in the Great Lakes of the United States/Canada)
brown tree snake (control efforts in Guam and other Pacific islands have cost the United States military $2 million annually since 1993).
Health-related impacts. The invasive giant African snail (Achatina fulica) provides an intermediate host for rat lungworm (Angiostrongylus cantonensis) which can infect the human brain, causing paralysis, coma and even death. The red imported fire ant affects public health as well as agriculture and livestock production, electrical systems and biodiversity in much of the United States and the Caribbean. West Nile virus was introduced to New York via an imported non-native bird and then transmitted to local mosquitoes: hundreds of people have now died.
Political impacts. Invasive alien species can hamper sustainable development opportunities by affecting food security, water supply, regional stability, poverty and migration. They can also affect international trade and economic growth if they prevent governments and industries from selling some types of food products or living commodities and/or using certain kinds of containers.
Invasive alien plants have a range of impacts on native biodiversity including competition with native taxa of flora, hybridization with genetically close species, alteration of the physical and chemical characteristics of soil, modification of natural and semi-natural habitats and propagation of pests and diseases. Plants that are invasive in certain parts of the world and have caused severe impacts include water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), melaleuca or paper bark tree (Melaleuca quinquenervia) and Miconia calvescens. The latter is considered the most damaging alien plant species in wet forests of Pacific islands. Over 60 percent of the island of Tahiti is heavily invaded, replacing the forest and its wildlife. This plant was introduced to Hawaii as an ornamental in the 1960s and sold by several nurseries before being listed as a noxious weed in 1992 (Loope, 1997).
South Africas Working for Water programme (refer www-dwaf.pwv.gov.za and chapter 29 in this publication) was set up to control invasive alien plants established in over 10 million hectares of land, following an assessment of their multiple impacts. These included consumption of 7 percent of national water resources, reduced ability to farm, intensified flooding and fires, erosion, siltation of dams and estuaries and reduction in water quality. These plants were determined to pose the single biggest threat to the countrys native plant and animal biodiversity. The cost of these impacts was estimated at R600 million a year over 20 years (around US$ 100 million annually), likely to double within 15 years unless control measures were taken.
From a biodiversity perspective, the ecosystems most vulnerable to invasion are geographically and evolutionarily isolated ecosystems (islands, mountain ranges, lakes etc.) whose unique flora and fauna and biological communities have evolved over millions of years. Hawaii, for example, has 90 percent endemism for flowering plants and 99 percent for insects (Gagné, 1988).
Pathways for introduction and spread
Although impacts of biological invasions may be local, at least at first, the causes of introduction are mostly international. Through trade and transport pathways (see box overleaf), countries both send and receive non-native species. Species are also translocated within countries to areas or islands where they are not currently present and may become invasive in these new locations.
Unilateral action by some states is not enough to manage pathways for transmission of invasive alien species. Cooperation at the international, regional, transboundary and local level is needed to develop efficient and consistent approaches to shared pathways to minimize unwanted introductions.
Examples of pathways for introduction of species beyond their natural range
Nearly 50 international legal instruments or guidelines deal with some aspect of IAS prevention or management. These set out policy or technical norms that provide a baseline for national legal frameworks. They fall into three broad categories:
The longest-established agreements focus on controlling the introduction and spread of pests and diseases to protect animal and plant health by means of quarantine systems.
Biodiversity-related instruments focus on IAS threats to native species and ecosystems.
Technical guidelines and codes of conduct to minimize risks of unwanted introductions through specific transport or trade pathways.
The various instruments have been developed by different multilateral bodies at different times with different objectives, for implementation by different national agencies and sectoral stakeholders. This affects how they refer to invasive alien species, down to the terms, definitions and procedures used. Most national systems reflect this sectoral demarcation.
Protection of plant and animal health
The International Plant Protection Convention provides a framework for international cooperation to prevent the spread of pests of plants and plant products between countries and to promote appropriate measures for their control within countries. It defines pest as any species, strain or biotype of plant, animal or pathogenic agent injurious to plants or plant products and covers direct and indirect damage by pests to both wild and cultivated plants. Invasive alien species are covered by the IPPC to the extent that they qualify as pests of plants or plant products.
The IPPCs focus is not explicitly environmental, although some countries use the IPPC framework to support assessment of environmental risks. Until recently, there was no agreed guidance on how the IPPC applied to pests that affected unmanaged ecosystems or to damage to non-economic interests. Many - though not all - countries have for decades implemented pest and weed control policies without an internationally harmonized approach, with an almost exclusive focus on agricultural ecosystems.
In 2003, the Interim Commission on Phytosanitary Measures adopted new guidance on the application of IPPC pest risk analysis standards to specific environmental risks:
Analysis of environmental risks, a supplement to ISPM 11 : Pest risk analysis for quarantine pests, focuses on plants that are potential weeds, even where they do not impact directly on agricultural systems. The supplement refers to the concept of a species (variety, strain) that is allowed entry based on available information but subsequently moves from the intended environment to an unintended environment and becomes problematic: the species can be treated as if it had just arrived and is a new pest. Entry can thus cover something occurring years later (e.g. a plant introduced for ornamental or greenhouse use that escapes and becomes a serious weed in unmanaged or agricultural lands). The supplement also provides for control of pests that cause indirect as well as direct impacts to plants (e.g. hyperparasites of biocontrol agents; pests that damage pollinators or earthworms; exotic ants or other species that may alter the ecosystem sufficiently to cause problems to plant communities).
Supplement no. 2 to ISPM 5: Glossary of phytosanitary terms, Guidelines on the understanding of potential economic importance and related terms including reference to environmental considerations, notes that the IPPC has historically maintained that the adverse consequences of plant pests, including those concerning uncultivated and unmanaged plants and wild flora, are measured in economic terms, but that use of the term economic had led to some misunderstanding of IPPCs focus. These guidelines clarify that pest risk analysis can account for environmental concerns in economic terms, using monetary or non-monetary values, and that market impacts are not the sole indicator of pest consequences. Members may adopt phytosanitary measures with respect to pests for which the economic damage caused to plants, plant products or ecosystems within an area cannot be easily quantified. For a plant pest to have potential economic importance, it must have a potential for introduction in the area subject to pest risk analysis, the potential to spread after establishment and a potential harmful impact on plants (e.g. loss of crop yield or quality; damage to ecosystems, habitats or species; or some other specified value such as recreation, tourism or aesthetics).
Wood packaging has provided a major pathway for transmission of invasive alien species that impact on native trees. In 2002, the ICPM adopted ISPM 15: Guidelines for regulating wood packaging material in international trade, which sets out technical and labelling measures to reduce the risk of introduction and spread of quarantine pests associated with wood packaging material in use in international trade.
Article VII.1d of the IPPC permits parties to prohibit or restrict the movement of biological control agents and other organisms of phytosanitary concern claimed to be beneficial into their territories. Existing guidance on application of this provision (ISPM 3) is currently being revised. Amendment proposals relate to introductions of biopesticides, soil enhancers, pollinators and sterile insects for pest control, as well as to strengthening risk analysis guidance (Quinlan et al., 2003). These proposals address some of the CBD Secretariats concerns raised in consultations with the IPPC on coverage of intentional introductions.
One regional plant protection organization, the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization, has set up a Working Group on Invasive Species, which is compiling a common EPPO list of invasive alien plants as well as a detailed regional standard on analysis of environment risks.
In 2002-2003, FAO commissioned global reports and a database on invasive tree species and pests of forests: these outputs and improved baseline data should help to support future FAO and IPPC work on invasive plants. A growing number of countries now prohibit noxious weeds in commercial seed packages in line with international standards such as those set under the OECD Seeds Schemes for the varietal certification of seed moving in international trade.
The Office International des Épizooties develops standards and guidance on pests and diseases of animals, including aquatic animals, but not on animals that are potentially invasive in their own right. OIE codes focus on agreed diseases of concern with regard to trade in animals and animal products and set out standards on import risk analysis and risk management measures for specific diseases. The OIE may consider risks to wild animals associated with disease transmission to or from livestock (e.g. rinderpest, avian influenza). It has a long-established Working Group on Wildlife which addresses wildlife management and reintroduction issues with an animal disease dimension, but does not cover related habitat and ecosystem issues.
The OIE Secretariat is reviewing its criteria for listing reportable and other diseases and considering whether to list diseases per se or pathogenic agents of these diseases. It is considering development of a broader risk-based approach which would take other criteria into account to determine access to export markets, including transparency in reporting and adequacy of detection procedures.
Like the IPPC (with its ISPM 6: Guidelines for surveillance, ISPM 9: Guidelines for pest eradication programmes and ISPM 17: Pest reporting), the OIE framework provides a legal basis for pest and disease surveillance, notification and control. OIE has a global network of over 150 Reference Laboratories working on the identification of new diseases and emerging hosts to develop harmonized detection and control methods. OIE, FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO) hold annual meetings to reinforce information exchange and improve coordination. In February 2003, they approved the joint implementation of a global early warning system and development of a joint strategy to strengthen regional activities for animal disease control.
In its Article 8(h), the Convention on Biological Diversity provides a comprehensive but very general basis for measures to protect all components of biodiversity against IAS impacts. Generic supporting provisions include requirements for strategic and cross-sectoral planning, management of potentially damaging processes and activities, involvement of local populations and the private sector, incentives, environmental impact assessment, transboundary notification and emergency planning (respectively Articles 6(a) and (b), 8(l), 10, 11 and 14 of the CBD).
In 1998, the Conference of the Parties to the CBD designated invasive alien species as a crosscutting issue to be taken into account in all thematic work programmes because of the problems they pose to indigenous and local communities and their negative effects on local and national economies. It also identified geographically and evolutionarily isolated ecosystems as needing special attention because of their vulnerability to biological invasion.
In 2002, the Conference of the Parties adopted a specific decision and guiding principles (CBD, 2002c; refer also footnote on page 7) to assist parties to implement Article 8(h). The decision reaffirms the importance of national and regional IAS strategies, sets out detailed recommendations for their content and urges closer international and regional cooperation in defined areas, including risk assessment and pathway management. The non-binding guiding principles aim to provide all governments and organizations with guidance, clear direction and common goals for developing effective strategies to minimize the spread and impact of invasive alien species, whilst recognizing that each country will need to develop context-specific solutions. They are based on a three-stage hierarchical approach (CBD guiding principle 2):
Prevention of IAS introductions between and within states is generally far more cost-effective and environmentally desirable than measures taken after introduction and establishment of an invasive alien species.
If an invasive alien species has been introduced, early detection and rapid action are crucial to prevent its establishment: the preferred response is often to eradicate the organisms as soon as possible.
Where eradication is not feasible or resources are not available, containment and long-term control measures should be implemented.
The guiding principles are divided into four sections:
general: measures to be based on the precautionary, three-stage hierarchical and ecosystem approaches; the role of states; research and monitoring; education and public awareness (guiding principles 1-6)
prevention: border control and quarantine measures; exchange of information; cooperation, including capacity building (guiding principles 7-9)
introduction of species: intentional introduction; unintentional introductions (guiding principles 10-11)
mitigation of impacts: eradication; containment; control (guiding principles 12-15).
(For further discussion on the 15 guiding principles, refer chapter 1 in this publication.)
In 2002, the Conference of the Parties endorsed the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, which sets the target that management plans should be in place by 2010 for at least 100 major alien species that threaten plants, plant communities and associated habitats and ecosystems. This is a major departure for the CBD because it sets specific targets: a key question is whether the necessary financial resources will be directed to achieving these goals. At least one region has acted on this target: the European Plant Conservation Strategy sets a series of goals to be met by 2004 and 2006 (CBD, 2002a).
For dry and sub-humid lands, the CBD has concluded a joint work programme with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), which includes management of invasive alien species in its list of priority actions. However, the Conference of Parties to the UNCCD has not yet adopted IAS-related decisions or guidance to prevent the introduction of potential invasive alien species when selecting species and varieties for programmes to tackle land degradation, erosion control and deforestation.
Risks to particular species groups
Instruments and programmes that focus on IAS prevention in the context of particular species groups include:
the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (1979)
This has a joint work programme with the CBD (2002-2005), which identifies invasive alien species as a cross-cutting issue and prioritizes case studies on the relationship between migratory species and IAS prevention/mitigation.
the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (1995)
Under this agreement, interim guidelines (Interim Conservation Guidelines on the avoidance of introductions of non-native migratory waterbird species) were adopted in September 2002 (Resolution 2.3). These provide a common framework for avoiding introductions of alien migratory waterbirds and recommend that Range States develop or adopt a standard risk assessment methodology for particular species in the context of the regional landscape, based on guidance in Appendix 1 to the guidelines.
the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) (1973).
CITES parties are urged to recognize that species in commercial trade are likely to be introduced to new habitat as a result of international trade and to consider problems of invasive species when developing national legislation and regulations on trade in live animals or plants (decision 10.54). The CITES Animals and Plants Committees are working on the preparation of list of potentially invasive animal and plant species included in the CITES appendices (decisions 10.76 and 10.86 respectively) but progress has been slower than expected.
Risks to particular ecosystems
Several instruments address risks posed by invasive alien species in the context of aquatic and marine ecosystems. Preventing unwanted introductions is particularly important in aquatic systems because invasive alien species are harder to detect and can disperse rapidly, making eradication or control extremely difficult. Once an introduced freshwater or marine species establishes a reproductive population, it offers far fewer opportunities for effective containment and suppression than terrestrial species and its spread is usually considered irreversible. In the very few cases where containment or suppression has been possible, key factors included very early detection (sometimes by chance), distribution still limited to a very small, containable area and prior development by competent authorities of contingency plans and alert systems for particular high risk species.
For the marine environment, introductions of non-native species are covered in a general way by:
the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982)
Parties should take all measures necessary to prevent, reduce, or control pollution of the marine environment resulting from the intentional or accidental introduction of non-native or new species to a particular part of the marine environment, which may cause significant and harmful changes thereto (Article 196).
the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Regional Seas Programme.
Under a few regional seas agreements, active policies for IAS prevention/management are being developed, for example the North-East Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Annex V of the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (1992) provides for listing and management of human activities capable of causing adverse impacts on the marine environment, including introductions of alien or genetically modified species. The Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas in the Mediterranean (Tunis) developed an Action Plan on Species Introductions and Invasive Species in the Mediterranean Sea in 2003.
For coastal and inland wetlands, parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands are urged to address issues relating to invasive alien species in a decisive and holistic manner, making use of tools and guidance developed by various institutions and under other conventions (resolution VIII.18, November 2002). They should recognize that terrestrial invasive alien species can affect wetland ecological character (e.g. lowering of water tables, alteration of water flow patterns), ensure that appropriate measures to prevent or control such invasions are in place and undertake risk assessment of alien species that may pose a threat to the ecological character of wetlands, taking into account the potential changes to ecosystems from the effects of global climate change.
For inland water systems (rivers and lakes), introductions of alien species have very little regulatory coverage. The 1997 Convention on Non-Navigable Uses of International Watercourses does make reference to introductions of invasive alien species as a damaging process but the convention has still not entered into force. Only a very few bi- or trilateral water agreements have work programmes that address risks posed by invasive alien species (e.g. Lake Victoria, the Mekong River). Use of alien species in aquaculture and restocking for commercial and recreational fisheries is not subject to binding rules at the global or regional level (discussed further below).
The FAO database on aquatic introductions now covers freshwater fish, molluscs, crustaceans and marine fish. Some regions are actively developing aquatic database networks, for example the Smithsonian Environmental Research Centre Aquatic Invasions Research Directory (invasions.si.edu) and the Baltic Research Network on Invasions and Introductions (www.ku.lt).
Specific transport and trade pathways
International shipping provides pathways for transmission of alien species via exchange of ballast water and hull-fouling. Efforts to reduce these risks are currently limited to one vector (ballast water).
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) supports a binding legal regime to avoid unilateral responses by individual states in such an international industry. In 1997 its members adopted voluntary Guidelines for the control and management of ships ballast water to minimize the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens to assist governments, ship operators and owners and port authorities to establish common procedures to minimize associated risks (IMO, 1997). At least seven countries and three ports have now enacted legislation requiring ships calling at their ports to comply with these guidelines. The guidelines have provided the basis for developing the new IMO International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships Ballast Water and Sediments, which was adopted by consensus on 13 February 2004.
Hull-fouling as a pathway for invasive alien species is not subject to international prevention measures, although CBD decision VI/23 paragraph 7 called on the IMO to develop mechanisms to minimize hull-fouling as a matter of urgency. (The IMO, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and the International Oceans Commission (IOC) established a Study Group on Ballast and other Ship Vectors in 2003.) IAS risks related to non-shipping pathways (dredging, recreational boating, fishing, fouling of offshore oil and gas platforms) have also received little international attention. There is no international system in place to report, record and communicate newly detected marine species introduced to new areas, even via ballast water.
IAS risks associated with civil aviation (e.g. transport of the brown tree snake, Boiga irregularis, between Pacific islands) are being evaluated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). In 2002, pursuant to Assembly resolution A33-18, it surveyed 188 states to gather data for an assessment of whether civil aviation is a significant or high-risk pathway for unintentional introductions. The questionnaire covered possible vectors (aircraft structure, cargo, passengers, baggage, packaging, mail) and a range of control and enforcement measures. Preliminary analysis shows that about half of the respondent states aware of IAS problems in their countries consider air transport to be a contributing factor (the other half lacked the data to respond). Following a more detailed analysis, the ICAO Council will determine whether a prevention strategy is necessary and the submit the matter to the ICAO Assembly for further consideration.
Aquaculture and mariculture
Aquaculture, mariculture and restocking for commercial and recreational fisheries provide expanding pathways for unintentional introductions of alien aquatic organisms, including genetically modified organisms, to aquatic ecosystems (escapes, parasites, disease). There are no international rules regarding the potential environmental impacts of such operations, for example no requirement for prior assessment of risks related to release of alien aquatic organisms into transboundary water systems. OIE codes (see Animal health, above) focus on disease risks, not the invasiveness per se of introduced stock.
Some non-binding technical guidance has been adopted to establish principles and standards and provide best practice guidance for this rapidly growing industry. The FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (FAO, 1995) provides guidelines for the responsible introduction, production and management of fish species under managed conditions (FAO, 1996, 1997). It urges states to adopt measures to prevent or minimize harmful effects of introducing non-native species or genetically altered stocks used for aquaculture into waters and to develop international agreements for trade in live specimens where there is a risk of environmental damage inter alia in importing states. ICES, working with the FAO European Inland Fisheries Advisory Commission, has also adopted a Code of Practice on the Introductions and Transfers of Marine Organisms to reduce the risk of unwanted introductions of marine alien species into marine and freshwater ecosystems (ICES, 2003).
Relationship of existing instruments to World Trade Organization rules
Alien species are introduced through trade intentionally (imported products) or unintentionally (e.g. as by-products, parasites or pathogens of traded products; as hitchhikers in vessels, vehicles or containers that deliver products or services). National measures to minimize unwanted introductions, in the form of quarantine and border controls on live species, commodities, packaging and other vectors, potentially affect international trade and need to be consistent with rules and disciplines adopted within the WTO framework.
Of all the instruments described above, only the IPPC and OIE have a formal relationship with the WTO system. The WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures 1995 provides for use of international standards to promote harmonization of national protection measures that affect trade and avoid disguised barriers to trade. The SPS Agreement currently recognizes standards set by three organizations: IPPC (pests of plants and plant health); OIE (pests and diseases of animals and zoonoses); and Codex Alimentarius Commission (food safety, human health). As noted, none of these organizations has an explicit remit for biodiversity conservation.
The SPS Agreement was developed before the current international focus on invasive alien species. It goes some way towards consideration of IAS risks to biodiversity by providing that a WTO member may adopt national measures to protect human, animal, or plant health/life from risks arising from the entry, establishment or spread of pests, diseases, disease-carrying organisms or disease-causing organisms, and to prevent or limit other damage within its territory from these causes. Measures should be based on international standards where available: where no international standard exists or a higher protection level is sought, the state concerned must justify a national measure through scientifically based risk assessment. (Emergency or provisional measures are discussed in the following section on gaps and constraints.)
The SPS Agreement is therefore probably broad enough to allow importing countries to address environmental risks of invasive alien species provided that the country concerned has effective agencies, coordination between environment and other sectoral services, adequate legislation and sufficient resources for risk assessment to provide technical justification for national measures. This is often not the case, particularly for smaller developing countries and islands.
The SPS Committee Secretariat considers invasive alien species to be an emerging issue in international trade (Stanton, pers. comm). The committees agenda is determined by its members (national trade representatives). There has been no direct consideration of IAS issues to date, but problems raised before the committee are frequently relevant to invasive alien species even if framed in different language (weeds, packaging, virus risks in imported shell fish etc.).
In 2002, the World Bank and WTO established a Standards and Trade Development Facility with FAO, OIE and WHO. Its goal is to facilitate the coordination of capacity-building activities by standard-setting organizations and help developing countries meet their export obligations under the SPS Agreement, participate in the development of relevant standards and maximize their benefits from the agreement. World Bank start-up funds (US$ 300,000) are being used to establish a secretariat at the WTO, which will administer the facility on behalf of partner organizations and allocate funding from the Doha Development Trust Fund. The facility will fund pilot projects on capacity building: developing countries could, for example, submit proposals related to IAS issues and national capacity for risk assessment. A high-level Policy Committee will set guidelines, provide oversight and guidance on work programmes and evaluate progress.
Cooperation between relevant international organizations
Parties to the CBD support closer cooperation with IPPC, OIE, FAO, IMO and other relevant bodies and have invited them to consider incorporating criteria related to the threats to biodiversity posed by invasive alien species as they elaborate or revise standards and agreements, including those for risk assessment and analysis (CBD decision VI/23 paragraph 8).
Cooperation is most developed with the IPPC. In September 2003, the ICPM and CBD Secretariat completed a Memorandum of Cooperation that recognizes the overlapping objectives of the IPPC and CBD, calls for strengthened cooperation between secretariats and identifies areas for collaboration. The respective secretariats participate in each others meetings. CBD-nominated experts have contributed to the working groups that developed several recent ISPMs (see Plant health above).
Cooperation between OIE and CBD is at a less developed stage. The OIE Secretariat has expressed interest in closer cooperation with the CBD, possibly including the development of a Memorandum of Understanding to specify respective roles (e.g. OIE has expertise in the area of bacteria and viruses) and areas in which OIE could be a formal provider of information (Vallat, pers. comm.). In 2004, the Conference of the Parties to the CBD called for closer linkages with OIE (decision VII/13, see CBD, 2004).
IPPC and OIE have observer status at SPS Committee meetings. The CBD Secretariat has requested similar status but this request is still pending. In 2004, the Conference of the Parties to the CBD requested the Executive Secretary to collaborate, whenever feasible and appropriate, with the WTO Secretariat in its training, capacity-building and information activities, with a view to raising awareness of IAS issues and promoting enhanced cooperation on this issue. The Executive Secretary was also asked to renew his application for observer status in the WTO SPS Committee with a view to enhancing the exchange of information on deliberations and recent developments in bodies of relevance to invasive alien species (CBD decision VII/13).
The Conference of the Parties to the CBD also invited the WTO Committee on Trade and the Environment to take account of potential effects of global change on risks posed by invasive alien species to biodiversity and related ecosystem goods and services when considering the impacts of trade and trade liberalization (CBD decision VI/23 paragraph 15b). This has not been followed up, although some generic themes discussed by this committee are potentially relevant, for example greater use of environmental reviews and impact assessments as a national tool in trade negotiations. The 2001 Doha Ministerial Declaration and the Plan of Implementation issued by the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development both emphasize the importance of environmental reviews in WTO trade negotiations.
Having outlined the existing instruments and tools that deal with aspects of invasive alien species, we now consider the main gaps and constraints faced by countries attempting to mitigate the impacts of invasive alien species. These include:
Lack of national capacity and adequate legal and institutional frameworks
Common constraints at the national level include:
lack of public, political and media awareness of environmental impacts of invasive alien species
fragmented and outdated legislation that does not cover the full range of agricultural, environment, marine and public health concerns
There may be inconsistencies in species coverage (e.g. stricter controls on release of alien animals compared with plants) and in terminology.
lack of a strategic approach and poor coordination between key sectoral departments and agencies
lack of resources to operate comprehensive quarantine and risk assessment systems, including screening of intentional introductions as supported by CBD parties and assessment of major pathways for unintentional introductions
CBD guiding principle 10 supports prior authorization, based on risk analysis, for all first-time intentional introductions and for subsequent introductions of alien species already invasive or potentially invasive within a country. One example of comprehensive legislation for this purpose is New Zealands Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996.
National quarantine and customs services have primary responsibility for preventing entry of hitchhiker and contaminant organisms, but in many countries, the quarantine system has a dominant agricultural focus: on the other hand, the environment agency lacks a mandate and expertise to address biodiversity dimensions of quarantine and border control.
no legal basis, except possibly for high-risk agricultural and forestry pests, to control movements within individual countries (island-to-island, mainland-to-island and between different ecological units such as river basins and mountain ranges)
As an example, Hawaiian quarantine authorities may not, under United States federal law, search and retain passengers who carry risk goods. However, the Hawaii Ant Group (a committee of state and federal agencies) has succeeded in changing the United States plant health policy on ants, which had classed non-native species of ants not already established in the United States as potentially quarantine significant. The new policy recognizes that Hawaii does not have many of the continental species and allows for stricter controls on this primarily environmental pest.
few deterrents to continued trade in or use of known risk species (e.g. some aquatic plants in horticulture, landscaping with exotic species and seed mixes in natural areas etc.).
Regional and subregional constraints
The impacts of invasive alien species may extend to a group of neighbouring countries. Constraints on effective action at regional and subregional levels include:
lack of a high profile for invasive alien species as an issue affecting a regions trade and development as well as its environment and human health
Some regions give low priority to environmental risks associated with invasive alien species, for example Southeast Asia, South Asia and the neotropics, compared with southern Africa and the South Pacific where invasive alien species are recognized as a major problem.
weak coordination among regional sectoral institutions (regional environmental organizations, plant protection organizations, animal health representations, development agencies etc.) on IAS issues and pathways
lack of systematic cooperation between neighbouring countries to predict and prevent the introduction of new invasive alien species, reduce the impact of existing invasive alien species and establish management priorities
CBD decision VI/23 paragraph 10g supports collaboration with trading partners and neighbouring countries to address IAS threats to biodiversity in ecosystems that cross international boundaries. This is particularly important in continental land masses where a countrys decisions can pose immediate risks to neighbours and in subregions with common trade or transport pathways (e.g. groups of small islands). Transboundary cooperation is too often triggered after a species has become invasive and been allowed to spread.
development or expansion of regional free trade arrangements without consideration of IAS risks associated with removing or liberalizing border controls and of management needs for invasive alien species already present within the free trade area.
From an environmental perspective, special measures (the least trade-restrictive possible) are needed to minimize unwanted introductions between ecologically distinct parts of the same free trade area, especially geographically or evolutionarily isolated areas such as islands.
Gaps in pathway coverage
Many pathways and vectors are still not adequately covered by international rules, guidance or codes of best practice. In the plant context, for example:
Horticulture provides pathways for introductions of potentially invasive terrestrial and aquatic plants but there is no consistency of approach between countries or regions on the assessment and management of these risks.
Among such potentially invasive plants are Rhododendron ponticum in western Europe and Lantana and Chromolaena (Siam weed) in Asia and Africa.
EPPO estimates that 30 new horticultural species enter the Euro-Mediterranean area each year without prior screening. Expanding electronic trade in exotic seeds, bulbs and plants pose new challenges to quarantine and management authorities that are not adequately addressed.
Seeds and other planting material, food and other commodities moving in the course of development assistance, humanitarian and military operations fall outside the regulatory framework for conventional trade pathways.
A preliminary report on International assistance programmes as pathways for the introduction of invasive alien species identified serious and under-documented IAS problems.
In 2004, the Conference of the Parties to the CBD identified at least nine cases in which invasive alien species are not covered by international regulatory frameworks (CBD, 2004).
Lack of support for a preventive approach
The approach to invasive alien species is usually a defensive one. Existing frameworks do little to support prevention through avoidance. There are few deterrents to the continued use of environmentally harmful species in some sectors and few incentives to promote the use of native species, where suited to the intended purpose, as an alternative to introduced species.
There are few truly preventive rules to restrict exports of known/high-risk invasive plants or animals to countries where they are likely to be problematic. Plant and animal health frameworks provide mainly for certification to prevent the export of specific pests and diseases in the course of trade.
Some importing countries now use bilateral agreements to require their sources of import to carry out export control. New Zealand includes offshore measures in its import health standards for organisms that are neither plant pests or animal diseases, for example fumigation of widow spiders in table grapes from California and offshore inspection. This is permitted by national legislation, based on risk assessment, and is consistent with the SPS Agreement. Although these are not phytosanitary measures, United States Department of Agriculture inspectors have cooperated to ensure they are properly implemented.
Guidance under biodiversity-related instruments is non-binding only. It includes CBD guiding principle 4 (see chapter 1, The role of states) and CITES decision 10.54 urging parties considering exports of potentially invasive species to consult with the country of imports management authority to determine whether domestic measures regulate such imports. (Note that CITES primary purpose is to prevent negative impacts on populations of species traded and not to restrict exports on the basis of possible impacts in recipient ecosystems.)
Importing countries have primary responsibility for determining which species should be prevented from entering and establishing, and choosing appropriate measures for this purpose. This is not a responsibility that can be shifted offshore. However, in terms of IAS prevention, it can be inefficient (risks not dealt with at source) or ineffective (where countries lack resources even for mainstream agricultural quarantine). More systematic regional cooperation and concerted action and stronger national frameworks are critical to address these constraints.
There are virtually no international early warning systems for invasive alien species as they affect wild species and natural or semi-natural systems. Tools applicable to plant pests should where possible be extended beyond an agriculture and forestry focus. The three widely used CABI Compendia (Crop Protection, Forestry, Animal Health and Production) will give invasive alien species greater priority in the future, either in the respective compendium or through an Invasive Species Compendium. (The CABI Crop Compendium is already supplemented with information on invasive plants.) The Centre for Biological Information Technology (University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia) has supported an increase in user-friendly multimedia keys related to invasive alien species, including keys developed by the United States Department of Agriculture on aquarium and pond plants, rangeland grasshoppers and quarantine mites. Under development is Declared Plants of Australia, an interactive identification and information system focusing on noxious weeds (see www.cpitt.uq.edu.au).
Lack of international standards for environmental pests
Plants and animals that are invasive in their own right are covered under IPPC or OIE only if they qualify as plant pests or animal diseases. Recent supplements to ISPMs (discussed above, Plant health) provide welcome guidance on application of pest risk analysis to environmental risks but do not extend the IPPC definition of plant pest. This excludes non-plant pests such as noxious invertebrates that hitchhike in plant commodities, for example spiders in table grapes, ants in taro. It is possible for national legislation to address this gap, for example New Zealands Import Health Standards extend the IPPC definition of pest to include all those new organisms that may affect the economy, human health or the environment.
The extension of some ISPMs to address environmental risks and costs will open up a new area for many plant health regulators. To make this guidance operational at national level, other agencies should be encouraged to contribute to the pest risk analysis process where information suggests that an introduction could have indirect impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem function. Quarantine and environmental personnel will need to develop a common approach to terms used in these sectors.
Constraints on risk and environment assessment tools
Assessment of environmental risks is complex for invasive alien species outside mainstream agriculture and forestry sectors because information is lacking and impacts, except for particularly invasive species, are largely unknown. Where a species is not problematic in its country of origin, it is difficult to predict impacts in a new country. Existing tools do not usually cover ways to deal with species already in the country and determine factors of vulnerability for receiving environments. In the biodiversity sector, more advanced tools are needed to deal with uncertainty, including criteria on using risk assessment techniques, precautionary approach and adaptive management (see CBD, 2002b, paragraph 24 of draft guidelines).
The CBDs guiding principles support decision-making based on the precautionary approach, including within a risk analysis framework. Precaution is not referenced in the WTOs SPS Agreement, but finds some reflection in Article 5.7 thereof. This allows a member to provisionally adopt a sanitary or phytosanitary measure where relevant scientific information is insufficient, on the basis of available pertinent information. The member must seek to obtain the additional information necessary for a more objective assessment of risk and also review the measure within a reasonable period of time, established on a case-by-case basis (see Griffin, 2000). Precaution can thus come into play in the interpretation of the scientific evidence, which includes determining the level of uncertainty, and provide the rationale for an SPS measure prohibiting entry or imposing other restrictions (provided that WTO rules of non-discrimination, transparency etc. are observed).
Where information is lacking about possible impacts of introduced species on natural and semi-natural ecosystems, it is difficult to determine what is a reasonable period of time in which to obtain adequate scientific evidence to justify import or pathway controls. Species thought to be restricted to transformed ecosystems and previously poorly competitive species may turn up as invasive in natural or semi-natural ecosystems, sometimes after a long lag time, facilitated by climate change, disturbance, fire or other factors. By the time invasiveness becomes apparent, consequences for wild biodiversity may be irreversible. In a non-environmental context, the SPS Committee is already addressing concerns about the duration of interim measures imposed by some importing countries pending the completion of risk assessment. These issues would benefit from closer dialogue between CBD, IPPC and WTO processes.
The SPS Agreement does not require importing members to do a risk assessment but to base the national measure on a risk assessment, i.e. the risk assessment itself could be done by another member, a regional body or a relevant international organization. The SPS Committee has considered regional risk assessments as a possible way to reduce length and duplication of procedures: these could be very useful for invasive alien species that are already problematic in several countries within a region and/or for species not yet present in a region but predicted to be problematic if they arrive. However, regional assessments would still need to be tailored to each countrys situation because risks of entry (pathways, volume) will differ, as will the potential for pests to establish themselves and their potential impacts.
CBD decision VI/23 paragraph 12(a) supports the incorporation of risk assessment methodologies into environmental impact assessments and strategic environmental assessments, as appropriate and relevant. Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands are urged, prior to moving water between river basins, to examine potential environmental impacts due to invasive species (resolution VIII.18, November 2002). However, national procedures for environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment rarely address explicitly the risks posed by invasive alien species. Recent developments in environmental impact assessment and pest risk analysis could be a source of ideas for closer integration of procedures (e.g. the use of environmental impact assessment to measure potential indirect impacts of invasive alien species such as the alteration of water supply available to species of concern).
Under the SPS Agreement, assessment of environmental conditions is permitted as part of risk analysis, but the SPS Committee Secretariat has noted some reticence by members to move forwards on this aspect. One constraint may be the widespread lack of information on the environmental implications of a proposed introduction (Stanton, pers. comm.).
Gaps in institutional coordination
The Conference of the Parties to the CBD has invited key international organizations to consider the potential effects of global change on the risk of invasive alien species to biodiversity and related ecosystem goods and services when carrying out their respective functions. These bodies include:
the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) when it considers measures for adaptation to and mitigation of climate change in particular with respect to the lifestyles of indigenous and local communities (CBD decision VI/23 paragraph 15a)
Further, in 2004, the Conference of the Parties to the CBD requested the Executive Secretary to promote fuller consideration of issues relating to invasive alien species through the joint liaison group of the CBD, the UNFCCC and the UNCCD (CBD decision VII/13). To date, the UNFCCC does not appear to have taken concrete action on this issue.
FAO, WHO, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNEP, World Bank and other development agencies, when considering the impacts of land-use change, agriculture, aquaculture, forestry, health and development policies and activities.
It is difficult to assess progress on these issues. FAO is developing useful information tools (see previous section) but there still seem to be no routine procedures to assess IAS risks through risk analysis or environmental impact assessment tools when developing international assistance and other programmes. Substantive progress needs to be driven not only by donor agencies but also by national agencies in recipient countries.
Constraints on funding
CBD decision VI/23 invites international organizations to develop financial and other measures for the promotion of activities to reduce the harmful effects of invasive alien species. In paragraph 33, it requests the Executive Secretary, in collaboration with GISP, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), FAO and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), to identify a mechanism(s) for providing Parties with access to financial support for rapidly responding to new incursions by alien species.
To date, no dedicated mechanism has been designated to provide sustainable funding for prevention, rapid response and mitigation efforts. Financial support for capacity building to improve prevention and management of invasive alien species still has to be found on a case-by-case basis. IAS projects may be eligible for funding under four focal areas of the GEF: biodiversity, international waters, climate change and land degradation. GEF-funded projects with an IAS component include projects for Control of invasive species in the Galapagos Archipelago (Ecuador), Removing barriers to invasive plant management in Africa; and Control of exotic aquatic weeds in rivers and coastal lagoons to enhance and restore biodiversity (Côte dIvoire). GEF is expected to become the financial mechanism of the UNCCD, which could provide expanded opportunities to fund management of invasive alien species in the context of soil protection and land restoration.
More work is needed on mechanisms based (even loosely) on the polluter/introducer pays principle, such as levies on shipping and air transport, which could be used to generate renewable funding for investment in border control and management infrastructure.
Common goals for all levels should include making best use of existing regulatory frameworks, strengthening cooperation between key organizations and targeting existing tools and resources more effectively to encompass biodiversity-related impacts.
Considerations for the global level
Certain areas for international action warrant prompt attention:
Enhanced research and prediction capacity is urgently needed, possibly through a new international body to monitor trends, identify species or species types which are or may prove to be invasive, and provide information to quarantine services for use in risk assessment as a basis for national measures.
More explicit standards and guidance are needed for assessing risks associated with plants and animals that may be invasive in their own right. Options include extending the scope of IPPC and OIE or creating a new body to handle environmental pests (which has disadvantages of cost and possible duplication). Both options would probably require countries to expand the scope of their national legislation and/or quarantine agencies. Environmental pests should also be directly addressed under regional and national frameworks.
International assistance and development programmes should be screened for risks related to invasive alien species, making use of new information tools (e.g. the new FAO databases on invasive trees and forest pests for forestry and agroforestry programmes). Closer cooperation is needed between donor and technical agencies and national overseas aid and defence departments to support development of better prevention methods and stronger national and international quarantine systems.
Pathways for introductions to aquatic ecosystems (hull-fouling, non-shipping marine vectors, aquaculture, fisheries restocking etc.) need priority attention, particularly in the context of transboundary rivers and lakes and regional seas.
As reflected in the most recent decision of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD (decision VII/13, see CBD, 2004), international cooperation and coordination would benefit from:
clarification of the respective areas of competence of the CBD, IPPC and OIE, recognizing the latters expertise in plant and animal health protection
fuller consideration of issues related to invasive alien species in other international fora
For example, the Joint CBD-UNFCCC-UNCCD Liaison Group established in 2001 to share information on work programmes and operations could provide a mechanism to stimulate IAS awareness and action in the desertification and climate change communities.
closer vertical coordination between international conventions and programmes, regional institutions and national focal points.
Invasive alien species must be given greater visibility as a trade-related issue. Recommended steps include:
development of closer links to the WTO
Granting the CBD Secretariat observer status in relevant WTO Committees could facilitate dialogue and regular information exchange between respective organizations. The CBD Secretariat could invite the WTO to designate invasive alien species as a specific topic in future training, capacity-building and information activities.
consideration of the implications of further trade liberalization for movements of potential invasive alien species during the environmental review of trade agreements and the development or expansion of regional free trade arrangements
closer coordination between national environment, trade and other services to build familiarity and promote nationally consistent input to international policy processes.
Further work is also needed on sustainable financing for prevention, rapid response and management. The new WTO/World Bank Standards and Trade Development Facility needs to be given adequate long-term funding: as far as possible, biodiversity-related criteria should be incorporated into its policy guidelines and work programmes.
Considerations for regional and subregional levels
A wide range of cooperative and coordinated actions at the regional and subregional level could prove effective in dealing with invasive alien species:
Each region or subregion, as appropriate, needs to collaborate on the development of a regional IAS strategy to promote a consistent approach to common threats and more efficient use of available information, detection and mitigation capacity.
Examples of regional initiatives include the Regional Invasive Species Strategy developed by the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the European Strategy on Invasive Alien Species (see chapter 5 in this publication).
At the subregional level, a new initiative for the Iberian Peninsula involves Portugal, Spain, France, Andorra and Gibraltar, whose shared river basins and mountainous areas provide favourable conditions for the dispersal of invasive alien species already established in any of these territories. In 2003, a regional workshop recommended the development of a cooperative initiative to set up an interlinked information network and a coordinated consultation, prevention and mitigation system.
Regional institutions with IAS-related functions need to coordinate mandates and work programmes to support a sound ecological approach to invasive alien species that includes agriculture. Regionally agreed measures and actions may carry greater weight in global fora than unilateral measures.
Regional support should be developed for risk analysis of pathways and proposed introductions, particularly for countries with low capacity. Regional information exchange is also much needed.
SPREP and the Secretariat for the Pacific Community (SPC) are jointly developing proposals to investigate rat control methods and develop biocontrol measures for key invasive plant pests of the region. A SPREP official represented SPC at the XI International Symposium on the Biological Control of Weeds (27 April-2 May 2003). SPREP is also piloting a training programme for border control officers in Pacific Islands, entitled Preventing invasive species, to enhance in-country management and capacity and build contacts and networks for follow-up work.
Regional economic organizations need to incorporate consideration of IAS issues.
For example, in July 2002 the ninth session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment approved an environmental strategy as part of the New Partnership for Africas Development, with a major section on IAS measures: implementation will be handled through subregional economic organizations (Southern African Development Community [SADC], Economic Community of West African States). The SADC Water Sector has obtained GEF funding for a project to track and manage aquatic invasive alien species, particularly floating water weeds, with a special focus on shared watercourses.
Proactive cooperation can help to tackle emerging issues and find possible solutions.
For example, the red imported fire ant is now present on both sides of the Pacific Rim, placing Pacific Islands at risk of its spread through regional trade and transport pathways. The GISP Austral-Pacific workshop (Hawaii, October 2002) delivered a joint request to United States and Australian authorities to implement stricter export procedures to minimize the risk of the ants spread. In September 2003, the IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group hosted a Pacific Ant Prevention Workshop and has begun drafting a regional prevention plan on tools and procedures to predict and manage ant invasions.
Practical guidance is needed to assist countries and regions to develop appropriate frameworks for management of invasive alien species in different natural systems.
This is under development for island ecosystems. The Cooperative Islands Initiative on Invasive Alien Species was set up in 2000 by the Government of New Zealand, Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) and GISP and endorsed by CBD decision VI/23 paragraph 19. This initially focused on the Pacific, where close links have been established with SPREP and Pacific Island countries and territories, but links to other regional programmes are now being established. Equivalent initiatives need to be developed for forests, dry lands and freshwater ecosystems.
Considerations for the national level
Possible action at the national level includes development of policy and regulatory frameworks and the engagement of relevant community groups and entities:
Policy and legal frameworks need to support broad objectives to protect human, plant and animal health/life: species, subspecies and races against contamination, hybridization, extinction or extirpation; native biodiversity, including ecosystem function, against impacts resulting from invasive alien species; and against biosecurity threats generally (IUCN, 2000).
Each country needs the legal basis, capacity and resources to support prevention, early detection and rapid response and eradication. Where necessary, a review should be carried out of existing policy, legal and institutional arrangements to identify gaps and inconsistencies and propose proportionate changes. The review process may be an integral part of developing a national IAS strategy or action plan.
Efficient use should be made of existing tools. For example, competent authorities often have powers under quarantine or agricultural legislation to require land owners and occupiers to control noxious weeds or nuisance species but in practice, implementing regulations are not always issued promptly or publicized and enforced.
Interagency cooperation and improved information sharing between environment, agricultural and plant health sectors will facilitate the use of pest risk analysis for environmental risks, taking account of issues such as ecosystem dynamics, secondary pests and indirect impacts.
The multiple roles of border and quarantine services in trade facilitation, food security, human health and environmental protection should be recognized and capacity strengthened where possible. Cooperation is also needed to overcome practical difficulties for quarantine authorities (e.g. inspection of military aircraft which provide a high potential pathway for invasive ants).
Industry, retailers, users and other groups should be actively engaged to ensure that measures selected are seen as legitimate and proportionate to the level of risk. The development of codes of conduct and of best practice should be promoted, although voluntary measures of this kind will not necessarily be enough to tackle difficult IAS issues.
Appropriate education and communication strategies may be tailored to different target audiences and groups, including enforcement personnel.
Positive strategies need to be developed to encourage the use of native plant species in landscaping, countryside management, revegetation, erosion control, protected area management and international assistance programmes. Existing work programmes on incentives could usefully consider how to increase the supply of locally sourced species, germplasm and seeds of known local provenance.
References and further information
CBD. 2001a. Sixth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical And Technological Advice, Montreal, Canada, 12-16 March 2001: information document, dated 26 February 2001: Comprehensive review of activities for the prevention, early detection, eradication and control of invasive alien species (document UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/6/INF/3, available at www.biodiv.org).
CBD. 2001b. Sixth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical And Technological Advice, Montreal, Canada, 12-16 March 2001: information document, dated 26 February 2001: Review of the efficiency and efficacy of existing legal instruments applicable to invasive alien species (document UNEP/CBD/ SBSTTA/6/INF/5, available at www.biodiv.org).
CBD. 2001c. Sixth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical And Technological Advice, Montreal, Canada, 12-16 March 2001: information document, dated 26 February 2001: Report on existing international procedures, criteria and capacity for assessing risk from invasive alien species (document UNEP/CBD/ SBSTTA/6/INF/6, available at www.biodiv.org).
CBD. 2002a. Sixth Conference of the Parties, The Hague, the Netherlands, 7-19 April 2002: information document, dated 28 February 2002. European Plant Conservation Strategy (document UNEP/CBD/ COP/6/INF/22, available at www.biodiv.org).
CBD. 2002b. Sixth Conference of the Parties, The Hague, the Netherlands, 7-19 April 2002: Decision VI/7: Identification, monitoring, indicators and assessments to which is annexed Guidelines for incorporating biodiversity-related issues into environmental impact assessment legislation and/or process and in strategic environmental assessment (available at www.biodiv.org).
CBD. 2002c. Sixth Conference of the Parties, The Hague, the Netherlands, 7-19 April 2002: Decision VI/23: Alien species that threaten ecosystems, habitats or species to which is annexed Guiding principles for the prevention, introduction and mitigation of impacts of alien species that threaten ecosystems, habitats or species (available at www.biodiv.org).
CBD. 2003. Ninth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical And Technological Advice, Montreal, Canada, 10-14 November 2003. Invasive alien species: identification of specific gaps and inconsistencies in the international regulatory framework (document UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/9/15, available at www.biodiv.org).
CBD. 2004. Seventh Conference of the Parties, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 9-20 and 27 February 2004: Decision VII/13: Alien species that threaten ecosystems, habitats or species (Article 8 (h)) (available at www.biodiv.org).
FAO. 1995. Twenty-eighth Session of the FAO Conference: Resolution 4/95, adopted 31 October 1997: Code of conduct for responsible fisheries. Rome, FAO. 41 pp (also available at www.fao.org).
FAO. 1996. Precautionary approach to capture fisheries and species introductions. FAO Technical guidelines for responsible fisheries 2. Rome, FAO. 54 pp (also available at www.fao.org).
FAO. 1997. Aquaculture development. FAO Technical guidelines for responsible fisheries 5. Rome, FAO. 40 pp (also available at www.fao.org).
Gagné, W.C. 1988. Conservation priorities in Hawaiian natural systems. BioScience, 38(4): 264-271.
Griffin, R. 2000. The fundamentals of risk analysis and its practical application. World Trade Organization SPS risk analysis workshop, Geneva, Switzerland, 19-20 June 2000 (available at www.wto.org).
ICES. 2003. ICES Code of Practice on the Introductions and Transfers of Marine Organisms 2003 (available at www.ices.dk).
IMO. 1997. Twentieth IMO Assembly: Resolution A.868(20), adopted 27 November 1997: Annex - Guidelines for the control and management of ships ballast water to minimize the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens (available at globallast.imo.org).
IUCN. 2000. IUCN Guidelines for the prevention of biodiversity loss caused by alien invasive species. Approved by the 51st Meeting of the IUCN Council, Gland, Switzerland, February 2000 (available at www.iucn.org).
Loope, L.L. 1997. HNIS report for Miconia calvescens. Harmful Non-Indigenous Species (HNIS) Database, a product of the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk (HEAR) Project, University of Hawaii, Honolulu (available at www.hear.org/).
Pimentel, D., Lach, L., Zuniga, R. & Morrison, D. 2000. Environmental and economic costs of nonindigenous species in the United States. BioScience, 50(1): 53-65.
Quinlan, M.M., Mumford, J.D., Waage, J.K. & Thomas, M. 2003. Proposals for revision of Code of Conduct. Biocontrol News and Information (BNI), General news, 24(1): 1-3N.
Sala, O.E., Chapin, F.S. III, Armesto, J.J., Berlow, R., Bloomfield, J., Dirzo, R., Huber-Sanwald, E., Huenneke, L.F., Jackson, R.B., Kinzig, A., Leemans, R., Lodge, D., Mooney, H.A., Oesterheld, M., Poff, N.L., Sykes, M.T., Walker, B.H., Walker, M. & Wall, D.H. 2000. Global biodiversity scenarios for the year 2100. Science, 287: 1770-1774.
Shine, C., Williams, N. & Gündling, L. 2000. A guide to designing legal and institutional frameworks on alien invasive species. IUCN Environmental Policy and Law Paper No. 40. Gland, Switzerland, Cambridge and Bonn, IUCN. xvi + 138pp (document UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/6/INF/8, available at www.biodiv.org).
 The striped mussel
Mytilopsis sallei (enclosed marina, Darwin, Australia, 1999) and the alga
Caulerpa taxifolia (enclosed bay, California, 2000). Both cases required
acute use of highly toxic biocides with massive mortality to all native biota in
the treated areas (Raaymakers, pers. comm).|
 Examples include: Sixth Conference of the Parties to the CBD (COP/6, The Hague, the Netherlands, 7-19 April 2002); Third Meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (The Hague, the Netherlands, 22-26 April 2002); CBD/BioNET-INTERNATIONAL Third Global Taxonomy Workshop (Pretoria, South Africa, 8-12 July 2002); CBD Workshop on Liability and Redress under the Biosafety Protocol (Rome, Italy, 2-4 December 2002); FAO Technical Consultation on Biological Risk Management in Food and Agriculture (Bangkok, Thailand, 13-17 January 2003).
 Source: an unpublished report by CABI Bioscience compiled on behalf of the Global Invasive Species Programme.
 Workshop on Priorities for action in the collective management of IAS by Spain and its bordering countries, held in tandem with the First National Conference on Invasive Alien Species in Spain (León, 4-7 June 2003, organized by the GEI Grupo Especies Invasoras in collaboration with the University of León, IUCN/ISSG, GISP and the Council of Europe).