Moving Toward Global Strategies for Managing Invasive Alien Species

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As human communities become increasingly interconnected through transport and trade, there has been a concomitant rise in both accidental and intentional species introductions, resulting in biological invasions. A warming global climate and the rapid movement of people and vessels across the globe have opened new air and sea routes, accelerated propagule pressure, and altered habitat disturbance regimes, all of which act synergistically to trigger and sustain invasions. The complexity and interconnectedness of biological invasions with commerce, culture, and human-mediated natural disturbances make prevention and management of invasive alien species (IAS) particularly challenging. Voluntary actions by single countries have proven to be insufficient in addressing biological invasions. Large gaps between science, management, and policy at various geopolitical scales still exist and necessitate an urgent need for more integrative approach across multiple scales and multiple stakeholder groups to bridge those gaps and reduce the impacts of biological invasions on biodiversity and human well-being. An evidence-based global strategy is therefore needed to predict, prevent, and manage the impacts of IAS. Here we define global strategies as frameworks for evidence-based visions, policy agreements, and commitments that address the patterns, mechanisms, and impact of biological invasions. Many existing global, regional, and thematic initiatives provide a strong foundation to inform a global IAS strategy. We propose five recommendations to progress these toward global strategies against biological invasions, including better standards and tools for long-term monitoring, techniques for evaluation of impacts across taxa and regions, modular regulatory frameworks that integrate incentives and compliance mechanisms with respect to diverse transcultural needs, biosecurity awareness and measures, and synergies with other conservation strategies. This proposed approach for IAS is inclusive, adaptive, and flexible and moves toward global strategies for better preventing and managing biological invasions. As existing research-policy-management networks mature and others emerge, the accelerating need for effective global strategies against biological invasions can finally be met.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Global Plant Invasions