11/29/2006

DECALOGUE OF CONCLUSIONS OF "EEI 2006"


GEIB Grupo Especialista en Invasiones Biológicas


EEI 2006”
2nd National Conference on Invasive Alien Species

León, Spain, 19-22 September 2006


Participants in the 2nd National Conference on Invasive Alien Species “EEI 2006” express their satisfaction for the development of the scientific meeting and recognize the need to hold it periodically. At the same time, the participants produced and approved by consensus, a Decalogue of conclusions to be used as a basis to coordinate the participation and actions of sectors involved in the use and/or management of alien and invasive alien species.

Conclusions[1]

Participants in the 2nd National Conference on Invasive Alien Species “EEI 2006”, most of whom are environmental scientists, conservationists, professionals and officers:

1. Recognize biological invasions as one of the major and growing threats to biological diversity and human well-being and express their concern for the impact that invasive alien species (IAS) are causing to Spanish biodiversity, public health and the economy.

2. Recognize biological invasions as a cross-cutting issue and the large number of sectors directly and indirectly involved (administrations, industries, the public, etc.). Urge competent authorities to set up mechanisms to coordinate policies and actions dealing with IAS (between international, regional and local authorities) in order to improve their efficiency and avoid inconsistencies.

3. Recognise the poor social perception of the problem and its arising consequences (releases, translocations, etc.). Reiterate the importance of environmental education to influence the knowledge and environmental attitudes of the public and recommend its promotion at all levels (among schools, stores, travel agencies, hunters, anglers, etc.) as an essential tool to prevent new introductions.

4. Recognize the need to merge the existing databases on IAS into a single portal on the Internet, accessible to the public for free consultation, to avoid the scattering of information and the proliferation of databases, which in many cases, duplicate efforts.

5. Express their concern for the limited exchange of information between the scientific community and public authorities,
a. Inviting both parties to supply the necessary means to access to information, and
b. Recognizing scientific research as an essential tool to support decision making processes undertaken by authorities on IAS management.

6. Urge competent authorities to set up a prevention programme to halt the introduction of new invasive and potentially invasive alien species by
a. Stopping introductions and restocking with invasive or potentially invasive alien species immediately, and making licenses to introduce any alien species, for any purposes, conditional on results of Risk Analysis processes.
b. Regulating the trade and possession of alien species that have been proven to be highly dangerous and to have an invasive capacity that could cause severe ecological, economic and health impacts.
c. Encouraging vigilance, control and scientific research on IAS entry pathways, particularly unintentional ones (e.g. ballast waters).
d. Promoting scientific research on IAS economic impacts.
e. Providing national, regional, and local officers working in environmental vigilance agencies and foreign and domestic trade with the necessary knowledge and tools for the early detection of IAS.
f. Establishing an emergency fund which allows a rapid response to face the first stages of biological invasions.

7. Encourage the Spanish Government to maintain its support for the various International Conventions and Treaties (Convention on Biological Diversity, Ramsar Convention, Bern Convention, etc.) dealing with IAS, and to implement ratified decisions. Invite the national Government to promote an initiative within the European Union in order to develop a Community Directive on IAS.

8. Urge competent authorities to produce a specific law on IAS, recommending the combination of environmental, plant and animal health issues under a single framework entitled “Biosecurity”. Welcome the preparation of a National Strategy on IAS announced by the Ministry of Environment and urge it to guarantee the active participation of the largest representation of stakeholders, with the objective of producing a document approved by general consent.

9. Welcome measures undertaken by competent authorities to mitigate the impact of some IAS already established in the country and recommend that those initiatives
a. should be conditional to costs/benefits and other economic analysis
b. should be supported by public opinion and provided with the sufficient resources to ensure that they can be carried out successfully.
Reiterate at the same time the importance of prevention as the most effective way of tackling IAS.

10. Issue a reminder that the fight against IAS is not an objective per se, since the main goal is the restoration and conservation of native biodiversity.

[1] The terminology used in the present document is in accordance with definitions agreed by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

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