New European Union action to address invasive alien species and protect biodiversity
On the 9th of September 2013 the European Commission proposed new legislation to prevent and manage the rapidly growing threat from invasive alien species.
The proposal centres round;a;list of invasive alien species of concern to the European Union (EU), which will be drawn up with the Member States using risk assessments and scientific evidence. Selected species will be banned from the EU, meaning it will not be possible to import, buy, use, release or sell them. Special measures will be taken to deal with issues arising for traders, breeders or pet owners in the transitional period.
The proposal is for three types of intervention:
- Prevention: Member States will organise checks to prevent the intentional introduction of species of concern. However, many species come into the EU unintentionally, as a contaminant in goods or in containers. Member States will need to take action to spot such pathways and take corrective measures.
- Early warning and rapid response: when Member States detect a species of concern to the EU that is at an early stage of invasion, they will take immediate action to eradicate it.
- Management of established invasive alien species of concern: if species of concern to the EU are already widely spread, Member States will need to put in place measures to minimise the harm they cause.
The proposal encourages a shift towards a harmonized and more preventive approach, increasing efficiency and lowering damage costs and the cost of action over time.
European Commission Website.