Estonia: national initiatives on Code of conduct
The answers provided by Estonia to the questionnaire on the implementation of the Council of Europe/EPPO Code of conduct on horticulture and invasive alien plants in European and Mediterranean countries are summarized below. The general conclusions of the questionnaire are presented in EPPO RS 2011/144.
Two illustrated books on invasive alien species targeting the general public and schools have been published and give advice on the handling alien species. These documents (in Estonian) are available for free. The first book released in 2008 concerned terrestrial habitats, the second published in 2011 dealt with aquatic habitats (mainly marine ones).
Stage and scale of implementation: In progress at national level.
Partners associated: The Ministry of Environment and several governmental agencies under the Ministry of Environment have been the main enforcers of initiatives on invasive alien plants. Cooperation with border control and Environmental inspectorate has also been undertaken.
Target of the Estonian Code of conduct: Any citizen, including the nursery industry and private garden owners.
Financing of the initiative: Projects consisting in information campaigns on invasive alien species are financed through the Estonian Environmental Investment Center.
Use of legislation: Initiatives will be undertaken in the framework of the Nature Conservation Act stating that the release of IAS into the natural environment is illegal. This legislation produced by the Estonian Ministry of Environment lists species for which import and trade is illegal: Acroptilon repens (Asteraceae, EPPO List of IAP), Ambrosia spp. (Asteraceae), Bidens frondosa (Asteraceae, EPPO List of IAP), Egeria densa (Hydrocharitaceae, EPPO List of IAP), Elodea nuttallii (Hydrocharitaceae, EPPO List of IAP), Fallopia japonica, F. sachalinensis and F. x bohemica (Polygonaceae, EPPO List of IAP), Heracleum mantegazzianum (Apiaceae, EPPO List of IAP), H. sosnowskyi (Apiaceae, EPPO A2 List), Impatiens glandulifera (Balsaminaceae, EPPO List of IAP), Solidago canadensis and S. gigantea (Asteraceae, EPPO List of IAP).
Criteria to establish lists of invasive alien plants: Traded invasive alien plants are the targeted species. Although there is no standardized risk assessment in Estonia, lists of plants were compiled by experts considering the invasive behavior of the species in Estonia and in neighboring countries, as well as their use as ornamental plants.
Main requirements of the Code: It is prohibited to sell or to import blacklisted invasive alien plants. Deliberate or accidental release of these species into the wild shall be avoided. Where appropriate, the eradication or management of the listed species is requested.
Use of incentives or sanctions: The Nature Conservation Act includes the use of fines. Proposal of alternative non-invasive plants shall be further explored.
Revision or update of the Code of conduct: The Estonian black list is revised when needed.
Prevention of the spread of Invasive alien plants: In the case of Heracleum spp., an eradication campaign is in progress and includes overall information sharing on IAP.
Communication activities: An educational video on Heracleum spp., as well as leaflets have been released. Invasive alien species are given particular attention in summer 2011 through a ‘nature observation database contest’ which encourages members of the public to report their observations on IAS. The main objective is to map 25 invasive alien species, but all IAS sightings are welcome. The list of 25 species includes the following plants: Amelanchier spicata (Rosaceae), Aquilegia vulgaris (Ranunculaceae), Bellis perennis (Asteraceae), Bunias orientalis (Brassicaceae), Chaenorhinum minus (Plantaginaceae), Conyza canadensis (Asteraceae), Fallopia japonica and F. sachalinensis (Polygonaceae, EPPO List of IAP), Galega orientalis (Fabaceae), Galinsoga ciliata (Asteraceae), Heracleum mantegazzianum (Apiaceae, EPPO List of IAP), H. sosnowskyi (Apiaceae, EPPO A2 List), Impatiens glandulifera (Balsaminaceae, EPPO List of IAP), Impatiens parviflora (Balsaminaceae, EPPO List of IAP), Lupinus polyphyllus (Facaeae), Solidago canadensis and S. gigantea (EPPO List of IAP).
Monitoring of the implementation of the Code of conduct: It is not planned to monitor the implementation of the Code of conduct. Monitoring of the occurrence and spread of Heracleum spp. by the Ministry of Environment is planned, as well as eradication actions for this species.
Estonian Ministry of Environment, books on invasive alien species: http://www.envir.ee/95541
Estonian Ministry of Environment, list of regulated invasive alien species: https://www.riigiteataja.ee/akt/12828512
Educational 19 min video about Heracleum spp. ‘Tige tulnukas’:
ftp://ftp-esitlused-www:7GYFhfYR94VUEIEVZFfe@www.keskkonnaamet.ee/Tige-tulnukas_est.avi ;in Estonian and
‘Злой пришелец’: ftp://ftp-esitlusedwww:7GYFhfYR94VUEIEVZFfe@www.keskkonnaamet.ee/Tige-tulnukas_vene.avi ;in Russian.
Leaflet on Heracleum spp. ‘Karuputke võõrliigid: Sosnovski ja hiid-karuputk’: http://www.envir.ee/orb.aw/class=file/action=preview/id=1165581/Putked_voldik.pdf
Leaflet on Heracleum sosnowskyi ‘Sosnovski karuputk’: http://www.envir.ee/orb.aw/class=file/action=preview/id=1165583/Sosnovski_voldik.pdf
Source: Merike Linnamägi, Ministry of Environment, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org