Norway: national initiatives on Code of conduct
The answers provided by Norway 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.
Stage and scale of implementation: In progress at national level. The Norwegian Code of conduct will be made available electronically and implemented by the end of 2011.
Partners associated: The Norwegian Code of conduct has been elaborated by the representatives of the horticultural industry and trade unions of the environmental sector. FAGUS, an NGO responsible for environmental research and trade coordinated the project. The Ministry of environment provided financing, as well as national and regional technical support. Norwegian experts on invasive alien species from different universities, botanical gardens and research networks have been involved.
Target of the Norwegian Code of conduct: Plant producers, plant importers, plant sellers, arborists, managers of public and private spaces including cemeteries, and private garden owners are targeted.
Financing of the initiative: The program is financed on an equal share by the Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management (75;000 Nkr in 2010) and by the nursery trade organizations involved.
Use of legislation: The Code of conduct is linked to the Norwegian Nature Diversity Act. Its Chapter IV is about alien organisms and requests that imports and releases of alien organisms do not have negative impacts on biological diversity. A permit is needed to import or release an alien organism and the applicant has to provide the evidence that it is harmless. This chapter has not yet entered into force.
Criteria to establish lists of invasive alien plants: The Code of conduct does not contain lists of invasive alien plants but refers to the law on biodiversity, which contains a ‘Norwegian Black list’ based on risk assessments. Among the 1700 alien plants listed, 17 were the object of a risk analysis and are considered to be a high risk for biodiversity.
Main requirements of the Code:
- avoid using alien plants that are or might become invasive;
- know the traits that make a plant invasive;
- be aware of species that are invasive in your area, and be aware of legislation on alien plants;
- be careful when handling or disposing of plants.
Use of incentives or sanctions: No incentives or sanctions are planned to be used in the framework of the Code of conduct, but the Norwegian Nature Diversity Act allows for sanctions.
Revision or update of the Code of conduct: Not planned yet. A new official Norwegian Black List based on quantitative criteria will be elaborated next year, as a consequence the Norwegian Code of conduct might be revised.
Prevention of the spread of Invasive alien plants: FAGUS and the Norwegian directorate for nature management elaborated information material consisting of factsheets warning about the risks of handling green waste and growing media. ;
Communication activities: The Norwegian Code of conduct will be published on the Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management website and presented at a meeting gathering all regional nature authorities in Norway.
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 species that are the object of the Code of conduct has already been developed. A new project which encourages the general public to report the occurrence of blacklisted species along roadsides, as well as new emerging invasive alien plants, has been launched.
Norwegian directorate for nature management website. http://www.dirnat.no
The Norwegian Biodiversity Information Center, http://www.biodiversity.no/frontpage.aspx?m=23 to access the database on alien species. http://www.artsdatabanken.no/artArticle.aspx?m=172;amid=2581 (click on ‘Last ned Svartelista i sin helhet’ to download the integrality of the black list)
Information from the Government and the Ministries, Act of 19 June 2009 No. 100 Relating to the Management of Biological, Geological and Landscape Diversity (Nature Diversity Act). http://www.regjeringen.no/en/doc/Laws/Acts/nature-diversity-act.html?id=570549
Contacts: Eva Dybwad Alstad, Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org