Biological Invasions

, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 1307–1311

EU adopts innovative legislation on invasive species: a step towards a global response to biological invasions?

  • Piero Genovesi
  • Carles Carboneras
  • Montserrat Vilà
  • Paul Walton
Invasion Note

Abstract

Europe has adopted innovative legislation on invasive species that could signal a step-change in the global response to biological invasion threats. The discussion that took place within EU institutions—EU Parliament, European Commission, and the Member States—permitted significant improvement on the initial proposal presented by the European Commission, including removing the initial 50 species cap, explicitly allowing national authorities to take stringent measures on invasive species of national concern, and encouraging coordinated approaches to invasive species in boundary areas. An independent “Scientific Forum” to inform implementation has been introduced, and the EU Regulation will permit only limited licensing for specific activities using invasive alien species. However, the real strength of the legislation will largely depend on the decisions of a committee of representatives of the Member States, with the risk that the real enforcement will be limited by political and economic, rather than scientific, considerations. In this regard it will be crucial to set up a framework of roles and responsibilities among the different bodies that ensure transparent and objective decision processes. Also, it will be essential that adequate resources be secured for implementing the provisions of the legislation. Finally, the regulatory approach introduced by the Regulation will have only a limited impact unless European citizens raise their awareness of this threat and adopt more responsible behaviours.

Keywords

Polluter-pays Ecological impacts Pathways of introduction Invasive alien species Policy Prevention Risk assessment 

References

  1. Beale RJ, Fairbrother J, Inglis A, Trebeck D (2008) One biosecurity: a working partnership. The independent review of Australia’s quarantine and biosecurity arrangements: report to the Australian Government. CanberraGoogle Scholar
  2. Beninde J, Fischer M, Hochkirch A, Zink A (2014) Ambitious advances of the European Union in the legislation of invasive alien species. Conserv Lett 49:1–17Google Scholar
  3. Brunel S, Fernández-Galiano E, Genovesi P, Heywood VH, Kueffer C, Richardson DM (2013) Invasive alien species: a growing but neglected threat? In: Late lessons from early warn. Science, precaution, innovation. Lessons preventing harm. European Environmental Agency EEA, Copenhagen, pp 518–540Google Scholar
  4. Butchart SHM, Walpole M, Collen B, van Strien A, Scharlemann JPW, Almond REA, Baillie JEM, Bomhard B, Brown C, Bruno J, Carpenter KE, Carr GM, Chanson J, Chenery AM, Csirke J, Davidson NC, Dentener F, Foster M, Galli A, Galloway JN, Genovesi P, Gregory RD, Hockings M, Kapos V, Lamarque J-F, Leverington F, Loh J, McGeoch MA, McRae L, Minasyan A, Morcillo MH, Oldfield TEE, Pauly D, Quader S, Revenga C, Sauer JR, Skolnik B, Spear D, Stanwell-Smith D, Stuart SN, Symes A, Tierney M, Tyrrell TD, Vié J-C, Watson R (2010) Global biodiversity: indicators of recent declines. Science 328:1164–1168Google Scholar
  5. Carboneras C, Walton P, Vilà M (2013) Capping progress on invasive species? Science 342:930–931CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. EC (2008) Communication from the Commission–Halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010–and beyond–Sustaining ecosystem services for human well-being COM/2006/216Google Scholar
  7. EC (2011) Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020. COM(2011) 244 finalGoogle Scholar
  8. EC (2013) Impact assessment accompanying the document “Proposal for a Council and European Parliament Regulation on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species”. SWD(2013) 321 finalGoogle Scholar
  9. Genovesi P, Shine C (2004) European strategy on invasive alien species. Nat Environ 161:1–73Google Scholar
  10. Goka K (2010) Biosecurity measures to prevent the incursion of invasive alien species in Japan and to mitigate their impact The Invasive Alien Species Act in Japan. Rev Sci Tech Off Int Epiz 29:299–310Google Scholar
  11. Heywood VH, Brunel S (2011) European code of conduct on horticulture and invasive alien species. Council of Europe, Strasbourg, Nature and Environment 162. Council of Europe Publishing, F-67075Google Scholar
  12. Heywood VH, Sharrock S (2013) European code of conduct for botanic gardens on invasive alien species. Council of Europe, Strasbourg, Botanic Gardens Conservation International, Richmond. Council of Europe Publishing, F-67075Google Scholar
  13. Hulme PE, Bacher S, Kenis M, Klotz S, Minchin D, Nentwig W, Olenin S, Panov V, Pergl J, Roques A, Sol D, Solarz W, Vilà M (2008) Grasping at the routes of biological invasions: a framework for integrating pathways into policy. J Appl Ecol 45:403–414Google Scholar
  14. Hulme PE, Pysek P, Nentwig W, Vilà M (2009) Will threat of biological invasions unite the European Union? Science 324:40–41Google Scholar
  15. McGeoch MA, Butchart SHM, Spear D, Marais E, Kleynhans EJ, Symes A, Chanson J, Hoffmann M (2010) Global indicators of biological invasion: species numbers, biodiversity impact and policy responses. Divers Distrib 16:95–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Monaco A, Genovesi P, Middleton A (2013) Code of conduct on hunting and IAS. T-PVS/Inf (2013) 20. https://wcd.coe.int/com.instranet.InstraServlet?command=com.instranet.CmdBlobGet&InstranetImage=2398195&SecMode=1&DocId=2021112&Usage=2
  17. Roy H, Schonrogge K, Dean H, Peyton J, Branquart E, Vanderhoeven S, Copp G, Stebbing P, Kenis M, Rabitsch W, Essl F, Schindler S, Brunel S, Kettunen M, Mazza L, Nieto A, Kemp J, Genovesi P, Scalera R, Stewart A (2014) Invasive alien species: framework for the identification of invasive alien species of EU concern. Report to the EC, project ENV.B.2/ETU/2013/0026. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/invasivealien/docs/Final%20report_12092014.pdf
  18. Scalera R, Genovesi P, de Man D, Klausen B, Dickie L (2012) European code of conduct on zoological gardens and aquaria and invasive alien species. T-PVS/Inf (2011) 26 revised. https://wcd.coe.int/com.instranet.InstraServlet?command=com.instranet.CmdBlobGet&InstranetImage=2176840&SecMode=1&DocId=1943806&Usage=2
  19. Simberloff D, Martin JL, Genovesi P, Maris V, Wardle D, Aronson J, Courchamp F, Galil B, García-Berthou E, Pascal M, Pyšek P, Sousa R, Tabacchi E, Vilà M (2013) Impacts of biological invasions: what’s what and the way forward. Trends Ecol Evol 28:58–66Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Piero Genovesi
    • 1
  • Carles Carboneras
    • 2
  • Montserrat Vilà
    • 3
  • Paul Walton
    • 4
  1. 1.IUCN Species Survival Commission, Invasive Species Specialist GroupInstitute for Environmental Protection and ResearchRomeItaly
  2. 2.Royal Society for the Protection of BirdsSandyUK
  3. 3.Estación Biológica de Doñana (EBD-CSIC)SevilleSpain
  4. 4.Royal Society for the Protection of Birds ScotlandEdinburghUK

Personalised recommendations