GB Invasive Non-Native Species Strategy Launched

Defra yesterday launched the Great Britain Invasive Non-Native Species Framework Strategy, aiming to coordinate existing programmes to tackle non-native invasive species in England, Scotland and Wales and to introduce means to spot threats posed by invaders much earlier. It is estimated that there are now more than 3,000 non-native species wild in Britain, with climate change expected to bring more foreign species to Britain’s shores. Invasive non-native species, such as Japanese Knotweed, cost the British economy upwards of £2bn a year.

The strategy is built around the three-stage approach agreed by the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2002, to:

  • to help prevent introductions in the first place by raising awareness of the risks and increasing understanding of the impacts;
  • to better enable early detection and rapid response to introductions before they become major problems; and,
  • to develop longer-term control programmes based on sound science.

Key points from the GB strategy include:

  • Measures to educate the public on the risks posed to native habitats and wildlife by non-native invasive species, and on how to prevent introducing these species.
  • The development of a web-based, shared central directory showing types of invasive non-native species in particular areas and how they have spread.
  • Developing a clear framework for rapid responses when invasive non-native species are detected in Britain.

In addition, the GB Strategy also contains measures to improve the effectiveness of legislation, to improve integration of activities and programmes and to better focus research effort.