American Economic Statistics OfficeGreen Finance

CBD IYB Factsheet on IAS

NeoFishMed workshop 26-29 October 2010, Turkey

See website for more info

Crop World 2010 1-3 November 2010, United Kingdom

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IOBC workshops 1-5 November 2010, Kenya

What makes an alien invasive? 7-8 December 2010, United Kingdom

See website for more info

IIBC 7-9 March 2011, South Africa

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15th Australasian vertebrate Pest conference 20-23 June 2011, Australia

See website for more info

Calendar of events

Workshops, conferences and events focusing on invasive species.

GISP Website Available Again...

Two Partners of the Global Invasive Species Programme i.e. International Ocean Institute Southern Africa in partnership with CAB International (CABI) are delighted to announce the re-launch of the GISP Website ( Sadly, we don’t have funds to produce any new GISP Publications or to update the website on a regular basis but at least all of GISP’s Publications, Toolkits and Reports are once again available for download. We’d like to thank everyone who has written to us during the past few months asking for the GISP Website to be re-launched and are delighted to be able to offer this service, albeit limited, once again to GISP’s stakeholders. This is a great opportunity and I really encourage everyone who has been asking for copies of GISP’s Publications to start downloading! Finally, I would also like to express my sincere thanks to Adnan Awad and Martin Cocks of IOSA for kindly stepping in to get GISP’s website functioning on an in-kind basis!

The Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP) Annual Report (2010), which following the closure of the GISP Secretariat, also constitutes the final report from the GISP Secretariat can also be downloaded here ...

Read more about GISP Past & Present Inside....

For further information, please contact Sarah Simons, PhD, Director, International Liaison, CABI

Deadly Drivers of Change: Invasive Species and Climate Change Coming to an Ecosystem Near You

Separately, climate change and invasive species are two of the greatest threats to biodiversity and the ecosystem services upon which humanity relies. Combined their impacts will be compounded, potentially resulting in negative feedback loops with increasingly dire consequences. The latest publication from GISP* by Stas Burgiel & Adrianna Muir highlights recent efforts to identify the underlying dynamics linking these two global change drivers and the optimal responses for the policy-making and research communities.

Join us for GISP’s side-event, Deadly Drivers of Change: Invasive Species and Climate Change Coming to an Ecosystem Near You, at CBD COP10 in Nagoya on Tues 19 Oct at 1.15 in Room 212A, Building 2, 1st Floor.

Download your FREE COPY as a pdf A4 size | US Letter size

*GISP gratefully acknowledges the financial support provided by the World Bank

Mainstreaming gender into prevention and management of invasive species

Invasive species threaten ecosystems, habitats and species, causing extensive environmental and economic harm. Gender affects people’s experiences, concerns and capabilities in natural resource management, and gender relations influence how environments are managed and used. A gender perspective on invasive species can therefore improve understanding of their impacts, increase effectiveness of prevention and control, and contribute to social equity. This study (right), undertaken by CABI Africa (Fish et al. 2010), brings together information on gender and invasive species, to inform those involved with research, policy and practice of invasive species prevention and management.

Download your FREE COPY as a pdf in A4 size | US Letter size

An East Asian Pest of Elm Trees is Invading Europe

An invasive sawfly, Aproceros leucopoda Takeuchi, 1939, which originates from East Asia, has been colonizing elms (Ulmus spp.) in eastern Europe since at least 2003. The larvae can completely defoliate native and non-native elm trees and may cause at least partial dieback. In a recently published paper in the European Journal of Entomology, 107(3): 357-367, the authors, Blank et al. (2010) claim that there is no known specialized parasitoid, that can effectively reduce outbreaks of this species, and it is likely that this pest will spread into central and south-western Europe. Read more

Image courtesy of Dr. Stephan M. Blank, Senckenberg Deutsches Entomologisches Institut.

A NEW Database on Invasive Alien Species

The Centre for Invasive Biology (CIB) and GISP are pleased to announce the launch of a new database on invasive alien species (IAS), which includes 'number of species per country data'. The database was compiled in the process of populating the global indicator of biological invasion and is an output of the GEF-funded initiative, the 2010 Biological Indicators Partnership (, used to report on the progress of signatory parties in meeting the CBD’s 2010 Biodiversity Target. The database contains a list of documented IAS present in a stratified random sample of countries signatory to the CBD. For further information about the database and the Global IAS Indicator, please click on link (

Are protected areas in Africa protecting invasive species?

Nairobi, Kenya, Thursday 20 May 2010 (IUCN) – Protected areas, long thought of as safe refuges for animals and plants, are under increasing threats from invasive species which not only affect biodiversity but also people’s livelihoods. Protected areas can have huge social and economic value, particularly in Africa, where national parks are a major tourist attraction and a significant source of income. But according to the Global Invasive Species Programme, of which IUCN and CABI are partners, many managers of protected areas in Africa are not aware of the severity of the problem which is on their doorsteps nor how to address it.

“Habitat conservation is vital for stemming the decline in biodiversity and the establishment of protected areas is an important mechanism for achieving this aim,” says Sarah Simons, Director of the Global Invasive Species Programme.But, with invasive species rapidly invading our ever-increasing protected areas unchecked, we are in danger of simply protecting one of the greatest threats to biodiversity.”

A negligible amount of the funding spent on biodiversity conservation projects each year is devoted to invasive species, even though they are the second biggest threat to biodiversity globally, and in some ecosystems, the biggest single threat to biodiversity.

Lantana at Victoria Falls, Zimbawe

Invasive species include the Giant Mimosa (Mimosa pigra), which is a spiny shrub, originally alien to Africa, that established on the Kafue Floodplain in a national park in Zambia in the early 1980s and has since spread to cover 3,000 hectares of prime floodplain habitat, pushing out many large and important aquatic antelopes,  waterbirds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, invertebrates and plants from their natural habitat. 

Mesquite (Prosopis juliflora) is one of the most widespread dryland invasive species in north and east Africa having already invaded 500 000 and 700 000 hectares in Kenya and Ethiopia, respectively. Under ideal conditions, it has the ability to double its range every 5 years.

"We need to build invasive species monitoring and management into regular protected area management routines" says Geoffrey Howard, IUCN Global Invasive Species Coordinator. “But the vast majority of protected areas in Africa don’t have the capacity or resources to recognise or identify invasive species. People are largely unaware of their impacts and, more importantly, don’t possess the necessary information and equipment to actually manage them.” 

Invasive species have been on the agenda in Nairobi, Kenya, this week at a meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice to the Convention on Biological Diversity, or SBSTTA. Decisions taken in Nairobi will provide a scientific basis for discussions that will take place in October in Nagoya, Japan, at the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

 “Governments need to recognise that invasive species pose one of the biggest threats to protected areas in Africa and unless measures are taken to effectively manage this insidious problem, they may fall short of their critical role in biodiversity conservation on the continent”, says Arne Witt, Invasive Species Coordinator, CABI-Africa. More...

A ‘superb workshop’ on combating invasive species on islands

The recently-concluded Global Islands Partnership event, ‘Helping Islands Adapt: A workshop on regional action to combat invasive species on islands to preserve biodiversity and adapt to climate change’, held in Auckland, New Zealand (11-16 April 2010), has been described as a ‘superb workshop’! As well as progressing the critically important issue of managing invasive species on islands, it provided excellent contributions to CBD SBSTTA14, CBD COP10, CSD and the UNGA, later this year! Dr Spencer Thomas (left) from Grenada and a member of the steering committee of the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA), chaired the workshop and was cited for his great contribution towards the success of the meeting and his global leadership on the environment. Dr Thomas from honoured by the New Zealand Government on the final day of the event with the presentation of a “Taonga” -- a national treasure of the New Zealand people.

Download Workshop summary document | Workshop proceedings


GISP is pleased to announce the release of its Annual Report for 2009

2009 was never going to be an easy year for GISP starting, as it did, in the absence of any core funding from external donors. Nonetheless, it proved to be a particularly exciting year, in which considerable progress was made towards achieving its goal, new project funding was secured, new partnerships were developed and new reports were published. GISP welcomed a new Chairman of its Executive Board, Dr William Jackson (Deputy Director General of IUCN) and 2009 culminated in the recruitment of GISP’s new Policy Director, a new GISP presence in Washington DC and the publication of a groundbreaking scientific paper on global indicators of biological invasion, to widespread media acclaim.

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GISP applaudes the Brazilian Ministery of Environment for approving a national strategy for invasive alien species

A national strategy for invasive alien species was approved after deliberations by the Technical Assessment Chamber of the National Biodiversity Commission – CONABIO. This Chamber is composed of the Ministries of Environment, Agriculture, Health, Fisheries, and Transportation; other governmental agencies as the National Health Authority, the National Agency for the Environment, Botanical and Zoological Societies, National Agriculture Confederation, and the Horus Institute for Environmental Conservation and Development.

The strategy is structured as:

  • General guidelines on the role of federal and state governments, education and public information, research and monitoring
  • Prevention for the introduction of new species, regional collaboration, and information exchange Intentional and accidental introduction of species
  • Mitigation of impacts, focusing on contention, eradication and control
  • Implementation, covering management and priorities for implementation of the national strategy (actions on prevention, early detection and rapid response, contention, eradication, control and monitoring, production of scientific knowledge, capacity building, education and public awareness).

For more information, please contact Silvia Ziller, GISP’s Director for Latin America, at

Press Release 22 January 2010 Impact of nature’s invading aliens measured for first time

Gland, Switzerland (IUCN) – Invasive Alien Species, ranging from disease and plants, to rats and goats, are one of the top three threats to life on this planet, according to a new publication coordinated by the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP), of which IUCN is a partner.

Most countries have made international commitments to tackle this threat, but only half have introduced relevant legislation and even fewer are taking adequate action on the ground.

The publication, “Global indicators of biological invasion: species numbers, biodiversity impact and policy responses”, looked at 57 countries and found that, on average, there are 50 non-indigenous species per country which have a negative impact on biodiversity. The number of invasive alien species ranged from nine in Equatorial Guinea to 222 in New Zealand.

A total of 542 species were documented as invasive aliens, including 316 plants, 101 marine organisms, 44 freshwater fish, 43 mammal, 23 bird and 15 amphibian species. According to Prof. Melodie McGeoch, lead author on the publication and member of the Centre for Invasion Biology, these numbers are a significant underestimate. “We showed that regions with low development status and little investment in research have lower than expected numbers of invasive aliens”. An increase in the number and spread of alien species, which adversely affect the habitats they invade, is nonetheless attributed to a substantial rise in international trade over the past 25 years.

While some threatened species on the IUCN Red List have improved in status as a result of successful control or eradication of invasive alien species, a growing number are more threatened owing to increasing spread and threats from non-indigenous species,” says Dr Stuart Butchart from BirdLife International. “This shows that although we are winning some battles in the fight against invasive species, current evidence suggests that we are losing the war.

“It’s likely to be more cost effective to prevent the spread of invasive species in the first place than to tackle the biodiversity crisis once they have become established,” says Dr Bill Jackson, IUCN’s Deputy Director General and Chairman of GISP. With sufficient funds and political will, invasive species can be controlled or eradicated. This will allow native species to be saved from extinction, but countries need to dramatically improve the way they deal with the problem.” more...

Download full publication

GISP is pleased to announce the launch of a NEW Database on Invasive Species Policy and Global Environmental Governance

Developed by Dr Peter Stoett (right), Associate Professor and Chair of Department of Political Science at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, and his team; with sponsorship provided by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Peter and his team recognised the vital role of policy co-ordination in tackling invasive species! Since international efforts to co-ordinate policy formulation and to measure outcomes must be based on adequate information, they have developed this database to provide awareness of the policy designs in place in many of the countries under threat from invasive species, from Albania to Zimbabwe! While there are several databases devoted to the identification and description of Invasive Species, there are few databases which explicate the policies that have been developed to combat them.

This database examines the following questions:

  1. What government legislature, programs and projects relating to IAS have been developed, completed or in progress?
  2. What governmental department, agencies or ministries does the responsibility to manage invasive species fall under?
  3. How are countries cooperating with each other to deal with IAS?

View Database on Invasive Species Policy here

We welcome feedback from GISP’s stakeholders and if you wish to contribute or update any of the data provided, please direct questions/comments to either Dr Peter Stoett on or Dr Sarah Simons, Executive Director, GISP on

Lettre d'information Espèces exotiques envahissantes en outre-mer

Industry Co-Regulation of Bio-fuel Weeds?

Marine Invasive Species Poster.

ISSG Aliens: The Invasive species Bulletin.

Guidelines for Invasive Species Management in the Pacific (2009) by SPREP and SPC.

Protected areas and invasive species (Tu 2009)
GISP gratefully acknowledges the author, Mandy Tu & editor, Jamie Ervin for use of this ‘Quick Guide’

IUCN recently published their guidelines on biofuels and invasive species. You can also read a short news story on the guidelines here:

download guidelines

Make a difference

Neighbourhood Watch

Recently released by IUCN, one of GISP’s Partner organisations: "Neighborhood Watch - Early Detection and Rapid Response to Biological Invasion along U.S Trade Pathways" download here

2010 Biodiversity Indicators Partnership Newsletter

Australia's Invasive Species Council news bulletin

The International CEISM Jellywatch Programme Poster

GISP acknowledges the kind permission of CIESM - The Mediterranean Science Commission and Prof Ferdinando Boero, University of Leece, Italy for developing the poster. The Program was launched as a pilot phase in the summer (2009) in selected Mediterranean areas. Different versions of the poster and different focal points of expertise are available depending on the zone concerned. See

Download jpg

Hitchhickers poster

Wild-bird trade paper

Wild-bird trade and exotic invasions: a new link of conservation concern? Martina Carrete and José L Tella Download pdf

Will the threat of biological invasions unite the European Union

The Biological Control of Himalayan Balsam Newsletter Issue 1

Pacific Invasives Initiative Newsletter September 2010

Asia-Pacific Forest Invesive Species Network Newsletter January February 2010

IAPPS Newsletter August 2010

IUCN Species Survival Commission Newsletter September 2009

South African Plant Invaders Atlas Newsletter June 2010

DIVERSITAS Newsletter March 2009

IOBC Newsletter April 2009

New book information from CABI

Keys to the Nematode Parasites of Vertebrates: Archival Volume Download flyer pdf

11,000 alien species invade Europe...

A comprehensive overview
Contact: Tilo Arnhold
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres

What are Invasive species?

Find out more about invasive species and why they threaten our world.