EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 05 - 2012 Num. article: 2012/111

A comparative assessment of existing policies on invasive species in the EU Member States and in selected OECD countries


As announced in previous notes (EPPO RS 2011/184 and RS 2012/022), the European Commission is developing a dedicated legislative instrument on Invasive Alien Species (IAS). An assessment of the regulations, policies and other initiatives in place or under development in the 27 EU Member States and in 4 selected OECD countries (namely Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States) has therefore been conducted.
The study analyzed the conformity of the Member States definitions of “alien species” and “invasive alien species” with the Convention on Biological Diversity definitions. There is great variability in the way IAS are defined, both across and within EU Member States.
A considerable number of policies/initiatives related to IAS exist in the 27 Member States, however these seem to be very fragmented and lack coordination between sectors (e.g. in between forestry and agriculture sectors). Considerable policy gaps remain, in particular regarding early-warning, identification of risks and management and control of IAS. Some Member States are waiting for the EU IAS legislative instrument before developing their own strategy, so as to ensure consistency with it.
Citizen science is increasingly used to report species distributions over wide spatiotemporal scales, with demonstrated success for early-warning. Nevertheless, early warning and alert measures appear to be largely missing in most Member States. Another major gap concerns the control and management of IAS, with little mandatory follow-up and assessment of the actions undertaken.
Some forms of cost-recovery mechanisms for intentional introductions are also in place in most Member States, such as payment of fees for inspections, permits and licenses, fines for contravening the legislation.


Sources

Sonigo P, Turbé A, Berman S, Reilly K ; Nyegaard Hvid H (2011) A comparative assessment of existing policies on invasive species in the EU Member States and in selected OECD countries. Final report. European Commission (DG Env), 258 pp.
http://invasives.biodiversityireland.ie/wp-content/uploads/BIO_IASPolicies2011.pdf

Sonigo P, Turbé A, Berman S, Reilly K ; Nyegaard Hvid H (2011) A comparative assessment of existing policies on invasive species in the EU Member States and in selected OECD countries. Country Assessments. European Commission (DG Env), 500 pp.
http://invasives.biodiversityireland.ie/wp-content/uploads/IAS_policies_country-assessments2011.pdf