The IASI team have recently given talks at international conferences in Cape Town and Stellenbosch. DIVERSITAS OSC2 was held 13-16 October and EMAPI10 23-27 August.
At Diversitas on 15 October Melodie McGeoch spoke about the pressure indicator (number of documented invasive alien species (IAS) per country) and the two response indicators (trends in adoption of IAS-relevant international agreements and trends in national legislation relevant to the prevention and control of IAS). She showed that the response to pressure from IAS has increased through time and that the policy responses to IAS have been greatest for countries with the most pressure from IAS but it seems the response to IAS has not yet reduced the IAS problem.
At EMAPI on 25 August Dian Spear outlined the major challenges to compiling lists of IAS: inconsistent definitions, data availability and the need for the application of a standardised approach to designating species as invasive. She highlighted that it is important to know the extent of data available on IAS in different countries to more accurately interpret numbers of IAS per country and that to enable monitoring of the status and trends in IAS a standardised approach using both documented and expert information is fundamental.
See the talk abstracts below:
DIVERSITAS Open Science Conference 2. Biodiversity and Society. Understanding connections, adapting to change. 13-16 October. Cape Town, South Africa.
McGeoch, M.A1,2 and Spear, D.1
1Centre for Invasion Biology, Department of Botany and Zoology, Natural Sciences Building, Private Bag X1, Stellenbosch University, 7602, Stellenbosch, South Africa
2Cape Research Centre, South African National Parks, P.O. Box 216, Steenberg 7947, South Africa
Invasive alien species (IAS) are a major threat to biodiversity and as a result trends in IAS was selected as one of 22 Headline Indicators to measure progress towards the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) target of reducing the rate of loss of biodiversity by 2010. The CBD calls on Parties to prevent the introduction of, control or eradicate those alien species which threaten ecosystems, habitats, or species (Article 8(h)). Goal 6 of the CBD framework is to control threats from invasive species, and one of the targets under this goal is management plans in place for major alien species that threaten ecosystems, habitats or species. An indicator for measuring management responses to the IAS problem would thus be the number of operational management plans per country. However, limited data are available. Few data are available for parameters such as the number of IAS listed in national legislation and controlled by chemical, mechanical or biological control. An alternative indication of management responses in the short-term is whether the control of IAS is incorporated in national legislation. Less than 40% of countries populated to date include the control of IAS in their legislation and most of this IAS legislation has been enacted since the initiation of the CBD. The relationship between IAS-relevant legislation and management response and efficacy is uncertain, but legislation is nonetheless an essential element of national responses to existing and potential invaders.
10th International Conference on the Ecology and Management of Alien Plant Invasions. Effective intervention through enhanced collaboration. 23-27 August 2009. Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Spear, D.1, Marais, E.1,2 and McGeoch, M.A.1,3
1Centre for Invasion Biology, Natural Sciences Building, Private Bag X1, Stellenbosch University, Matieland 7602, South Africa; firstname.lastname@example.org
2Working for Water Programme, Private Bag X4390, Cape Town 8000, South Africa; MaraisE2@dwaf.gov.za
3Cape Research Centre, South African National Parks, P.O. Box 216, Steenberg 7947, South Africa; MelodieM@sanparks.org
Invasive alien species (IAS) are a major threat to biodiversity and as a result trends in IAS was selected as one of 22 Headline Indicators to measure progress towards the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) target of reducing the rate of loss of biodiversity by 2010. Two indicators number of IAS and number of operational management plans have been proposed to measure progress towards goal 6 of the CBD framework, to control threats from IAS. These indicators have been populated for a stratified-random selection of countries. We assess the comprehensiveness of global IAS databases. We also determine the usefulness of the approach adopted to date for populating the invasion status indicator. The major challenges facing the population of the indicators are data availability and quality and the lack of transparency in the criteria used to designate species as invasive. The approach used to date to populate the invasion status indicator, although most practical based on time and resource constraints, provides a different list of species than lists of species suggested by invasive alien plant species experts. This suggests that to provide a comprehensive assessment of the global status of IAS, expert input is required for countries globally.