Stas Burgiel, Senior Global Invasive Species Policy AdvisorGlobally, invasive alien species are recognized as one of the top two threats to biological diversity, endangered species and fragile ecosystems with additional impacts on human health and local livelihoods. World trade and travel are primary drivers for transporting species between countries with the movement of goods, vehicles and people in an increasingly integrated world system. Given this expanding rate and volume of trade and travel we expect the number of new harmful invasions in terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats to continue increasing unless we take action now. Fortunately, we do know how to prevent many invasions at a cost that is far less than the harm they would inflict or the resources required to manage them if they are allowed to invade and establish.
While The Nature Conservancy and our partners must continue to manage the most damaging invaders established on and near high priority conservation sites, we must also turn out attention to preventing new invasions. The Nature Conservancy's Global Invasive Species Team is working with governments, the private sector and other organizations to develop policy and technical measures to reduce the introduction of invasive alien species around the world, while also avoiding or minimizing adverse impacts on economic growth. As the Team's Senior Global Policy Advisor, I work under environmental and trade treaties and conventions and with other organizations to develop standards and guidance to enable participating countries to build their own national systems to prevent new invasions and minimize the impacts of established invaders. For example, I am working with partner organizations and nations to promote the development of a work program under the Convention on Biodiversity that would commit and help nations around the world to improve their laws, agency policies and capacities to prevent new harmful invasions.
These policy improvements will encourage nations everywhere we work around the world to do more to prevent harmful invasions. They will also draw greater attention to the problems caused by invasive species and, we expect, funding to efforts to address these problems. This will provide direct benefits to biodiversity, human health and local livelihoods in many nations around the world. Improved prevention in one country also helps reduce the spread of new species into that nations neighbors. In the long run, using environmental and trade agreements to shape national policies and build capacities of nations around the globe to address invasive species is essential to reducing invasive species risks both globally and at the site level.
Global Invasive Species Team
The Nature Conservancy
4245 North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22203-1606
Invasive species management is not impossible. Read these success stories and be inspired.
Assessments of invasive species issues for various operating units in The Nature Conservancy.
Learn about our 1999 survey--a snapshot of invasive species issues across all of The Nature Conservancy.
Address information to help you contact GIST staff.
Other site resources
A fully-integrated hardware and software application for mapping invasives and tracking management actions.
A review of remote sensing technology, as applied to invasive species detection and mapping.
Adaptive management planning tools such as model plans for sites, weed control templates, etc. Very useful!
Learn about Invasive Species Networks that help promote best practices for invasive species abatement among staff in The Nature Conservancy, partner agencies, and other organizations.
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