Wildlife & Biodiversity

Three experts to lead key assessment of invasive alien species

The assessment will offer governments and decision-makers the best available evidence

 
By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Thursday 23 May 2019
A Burmese Python wrestles with an American Alligator in Florida, where the serpent is an invasive species. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
A Burmese Python wrestles with an American Alligator in Florida, where the serpent is an invasive species. Photo: Wikimedia Commons A Burmese Python wrestles with an American Alligator in Florida, where the serpent is an invasive species. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Three leading global experts were appointed to lead a new, three-year effort to profile the invasive, alien species across the world.

Helen Roy (United Kingdom), Aníbal Pauchard (Chile) and Peter Stoett (Canada) will co-chair a new and vitally important assessment by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), an official press statement said.

They will head a team of more than 70 expert authors, to be selected from a large pool of nominations, by the end of June this year.

Invasive alien species were identified, just weeks ago in the landmark IPBES Global Assessment Report, as one of the top five global culprits driving negative change in nature around the world — with numbers having risen by 70 per cent since 1970 across 21 countries.    

Once completed, the new three-year assessment will offer governments and decision-makers at all levels the best available evidence on the array of invasive alien species; their impacts on biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people — especially to health and livelihoods; how and why they spread; levels of public awareness; as well as the effectiveness of current control measures and options for further policy and action.

The IPBES technical support unit for the assessment is hosted in Tokyo, Japan by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and supported by the Ministry of the Environment of the Government of Japan.

The first author meeting of the assessment is planned for August 2019 in Japan – with a first draft expected to be ready for open expert review in 2020.

“The overwhelming coverage and impact of the IPBES Global Assessment Report has demonstrated that there is renewed concern, understanding and commitment to action to reduce and reverse the destruction of nature at every level. The three eminent scientists who have been chosen to lead this new IPBES assessment will have the opportunity to seize this momentum and to build on it in the context of the new post-2020 framework for biodiversity that will be adopted in China next year by the Governments of the world – at the 2020 UN Biodiversity Conference of the Convention on Biological Diversity,” Anne Larigauderie, executive secretary of IPBES was quoted as saying in the statement.

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