Following on from an IUCN call for greater action on addressing invasive species in order to protect biodiversity – the Honolulu challenge, presented at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress – the latest IUCN brief presses home the links between invasive species and climate change.
Climate change facilitates the spread and establishment of many alien species and creates new opportunities for them to become invasive. Climate change also reduces the resilience of habitats to biological invasions However, the inverse is also true: invasive species reduce the resilience of natural habitats, agricultural systems and urban areas to climate change.
A new report from the IUCN looks at conservation prospects, threats, protection and management of natural World Heritage sites. The IUCN World Heritage Outlook 2 summarises the key trends in the state of conservation of natural World Heritage sites, the threats and pressures they are facing, and the effectiveness of their protection and management. The top three current threats are all areas in which CABI works, with invasive species, climate change and tourism impacts, in that order, being assessed as the most significant threats to natural World Heritage.
Nature reserves, national parks and marine protected areas have been proven to effectively shield native wildlife from the impacts of invasive species, in a new study published this week in the journal Global Change Biology.
CABI promoted its new invasive species initiative at this year’s EcoSummit event which took place in Montpellier, France, from 29 August – 1 September. CABI’s latest initiative aims to tackle the issue of invasive species to improve the lives of 50 million farmers in Africa and Asia.
Launched in Copenhagen in 1996, the event provides a platform for ecological scientists and researchers from around the world to share new knowledge and discuss sustainable solutions to global environmental and ecological challenges. This year’s EcoSummit conference focused on terrestrial ecosystems, especially fragile systems that are less resilient to climate change and the impact that human activities are having on the environment – especially agriculture. The increasing global demand for food was also discussed and how intensified agriculture to meet this demand can adversely affect ecosystems.
CABI’s work on invasive species was highly relevant here as many invasive species cause the loss of natural biodiversity and alter global ecosystems. CABI’s expertise in tackling invasive species in order to promote environmental sustainability, livelihoods and food security is a significant contribution to solving global environmental challenges.
Julien Lamontagne-Godwin was one of CABI’s representatives at the conference. He said: “This conference is vital to showcase the myriad avenues of research in ecology, and is a vital tool to describe and remind us of the importance of a healthy ecosystem for our way of life. Many discussions we had with top scientists here highlighted the value of CABI’s knowledge platforms, such as our Invasive Species Compendium. These conversations also helped us add depth and significance to our new livelihoods initiative on invasive species.”
CABI has been working on invasive species for over 100 years, exploring measures to prevent, mitigate and manage invasive species on a global level. Through a selection of different sustainable techniques such as biological control, CABI tackles some of the worst invasive species that negatively impact terrestrial ecosystems and impact the livelihoods of farmers who depend directly on the ecosystem for their sustenance.
The Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP) has recently published two publications on invasive species, Mainstreaming Gender into Prevention and Management of Invasive Species, and Invasive Species, Climate Change and Ecosystem-Based Adaption: Addressing Multiple Drivers of Global Change, both of which deserve a read. Both publications can be downloaded via the GISP website