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COP 8 Decision VIII/27

Alien species that threaten ecosystems, habitats or species (Article 8 (h )): further consideration of gaps and inconsistencies in the international regulatory framework

The Conference of the Parties

1. Welcomes of the report of the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Gaps and Inconsistencies in the International Regulatory Framework in Relation to Invasive Alien Species (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/11/INF/4), expresses its gratitude to the Government of New Zealand for their financial, organizational and technical support for this work, and expresses its gratitude to the Chair and members of the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group for their work;

2. Welcomes the inter-sessional work of the Global Invasive Species Programme and the Executive Secretary towards the development of a joint programme of work on invasive alien species referred to in paragraph 26 (e) of decision VI/23, 1 / and expresses appreciation to the Global Invasive Species Programme for its leadership role in addressing invasive alien species;

3. Welcomes the development of the biodiversity and invasive alien species module of the United Nations Environment Programme’s project on Issue-Based Modules for Coherent Implementation of Biodiversity-related Conventions, as a helpful tool for implementation;

4. Encourages Parties to build capacity for action at the national level for addressing the various pathways for introduction and spread of invasive alien species, and appeals to funding institutions and development agencies to explore and consider options for providing additional funding to support developing countries, in particular the least developed countries and small island developing States, as well as countries with economies in transition, and countries that are centres of origin and centres of genetic diversity, to assist in the improved prevention, rapid response and implementation of management measures to address threats of invasive alien species;

5. Notes that, in addition to capacity-building at national level, there is also a need for capacity-building at subregional, regional and global levels in order to promote consistency and mutual supportiveness of measures taken to address alien invasive species, and invites donors and financial institutions to support capacity-building initiatives at these levels to assist Parties in effectively controlling the spread of existing invasive alien species and preventing further introductions;

6. Notes the need for the provision of additional funding by the financial mechanism of the Convention to support capacity-building for developing countries, in particular the least developed and small island developing States among them, and countries with economies in transition, to prevent or minimize the risks of the dispersal and establishment of invasive alien species at the national, subregional, or regional levels;

7. Further recognizes that collaboration among international bodies and instruments is important in the context of addressing issues related to invasive alien species, and that such collaboration requires adequate resources;

8. Encourages Parties to ensure close inter-agency collaboration at the national and regional levels among the various sectors and interest-holders relevant to the introduction, control and management of invasive alien species, for example through the establishment of national coordination committees;

9. Notes that actions to address invasive alien species need to be taken at the international, regional, national and/or subnational levels, emphasizes the need to promote consistency among actions and efforts at the various levels, also emphasizes the appropriateness of regional and subregional approaches in particular, and encourages the development, as appropriate, of regional guidance under appropriate regional bodies or institutions to address particular gaps in the international regulatory framework;

10. Reiterates the importance of information-sharing as specified, for example, in paragraphs 27 and 28 of decision VI/23, 1 / and the need for financial resources to take full advantage of such information-sharing mechanisms including the clearing-house mechanism of the Convention;

11. Further reiterates the call to Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations to share their experiences in addressing invasive alien species, including management and control efforts as specified in paragraph 25 of decision VI/23, 1 / and the request to the Executive Secretary to make this information available through the clearing-house mechanism and other means, as called for in paragraphs 25, 26, and 28 of decision VI/23; 1 /

12. Urges Parties and other Governments to communicate to potential importing countries relevant information about particular species that are subject to export and are known to be potentially invasive, through, for example, web-based databases, alert lists or other appropriate information-sharing mechanisms at global and regional levels, and to provide information that is relevant for risk analysis and other proactive measures as appropriate to prevent or minimize effects of invasive alien species in other countries, in accordance with Article 3 of the Convention;

13. Encourages Parties and other Governments to increase communication and public awareness about the environmental, social and economic impacts of the introduction of invasive alien species according to Guiding Principle 6 contained in the annex to decision VI/23; 1 /

14. Requests the Executive Secretary to consult with relevant international bodies and instruments, such as the International Plant Protection Convention, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the World Trade Organization, taking into account the observations of the report of the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/11/INF/4), regarding whether and how to address the lack of international standards covering invasive alien species, in particular animals, that are not pests of plants under the International Plant Protection Convention, and to report on the results of these consultations for consideration by the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice and by the Conference of the Parties at its ninth meeting;

15. Requests the Executive Secretary to communicate the present decision to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to facilitate its being taken into account, as appropriate, by Parties to the Convention on Climate Change in framing and implementing the decisions under that Convention;

Conveyances as pathways for invasive alien species

16. Invites Parties and other Governments to share, through the clearing-house mechanism and other means, national experiences in dealing with invasive alien species, in particular animals and their parasites, introduced or spread through various conveyances (e.g., vessels, floating timber, equipment and machinery, household goods, packaging and containers, waste materials, air transport vessels, tourist vessels, etc.), including any risk assessments or risk management measures that have been carried out for particular species or pathways;

17. Encourages Parties and other Governments to organize training and promote education and awareness raising of border control officials and other relevant persons regarding invasive alien species, recognizing that such activities will require adequate resources;

18. Encourages relevant regional bodies and institutions to develop regional guidance for particular conveyances as pathways for introduction and spread of invasive alien species;

19. Invites relevant bodies and institutions, such as the Global Invasive Species Programme, the Working Group on Ballast and Other Shipping Vectors of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, and the Working Group on Non-Indigenous Species of the North Pacific Marine Science Organization, to further study conveyance pathways for introduction and spread of invasive alien species, and to conduct risk assessments for potential future introductions;

Aquaculture/mariculture

20. Encourages regional bodies and conventions governing inland water or marine and coastal ecosystems, such as transboundary inland water management bodies and the regional seas conventions and action plans, to consider developing cooperative arrangements such as voluntary certification schemes for aquaculture, fish stocking and other activities that involve introductions and transfers of live aquatic organisms, to address risks of invasive alien species, taking into account existing efforts such as those of the Global Aquaculture Alliance;

21. Urges Parties and other Governments to implement the Code of Practice on the Introduction and Transfers of Marine Organisms of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, the Code of Conduct on Responsible Fisheries of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and Article 196 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea;

22. Urges Parties and other Governments to ratify and implement the 1997 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses; 2 /

23. Invites Parties to develop and implement national and regional programmes of work, such as those under the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, for the sustainable management of aquaculture as well as for the control of aquatic invasive species;

24. Invites Parties and other Governments to promote aquaculture of native species with the aim to avoid accidental introduction of alien species and their parasites;

Ballast water

25. Urges Parties and other Governments to ratify and implement the International Convention on the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments as soon as possible;

26. Urges Parties and other Governments to address, in their national legislation, the issue of domestic translocation of ballast water, by vessels requiring equivalent compliance with but not covered by the International Convention on the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, as stipulated in the guideline for equivalent compliance for small craft which is under consideration by the Marine Environmental Protection Committee of the International Maritime Organization;

27. Urges Parties and other Governments to increase the degree of communication and coordination between national agencies responsible for inputs to and implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and International Maritime Organization;

28. Invites the regional seas conventions and action plans to support implementation of the International Convention on the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, and to encourage regional harmonization in implementation;

Marine biofouling, particularly hull-fouling

29. Encourages Parties and other Governments to implement controls at national level, for example through appropriate measures (e.g., regulations and standards), on marine biofouling as a pathway for introduction and spread of invasive alien species, including for recreational vessels;

30. Encourages harmonization of national legislation within regions, to avoid transferring risks associated with marine biofouling between nations, including through regional mechanisms such as the regional seas conventions and action plans;

31. Encourages Parties to ratify and implement the 2001 Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships;

32. Reiterates its call to the International Maritime Organization regarding the need to address the issue of hull-fouling;

33. Encourages Parties and other Governments to raise the issue of marine biofouling as a matter of urgency with the Marine Environment Protection Committee of the International Maritime Organization and at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting;

Civil air transport

34. Welcomes resolution A35-19 of the Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on invasive alien species, and invites the International Civil Aviation Organization to address invasive alien species as a matter of urgency;

35. Requests the Executive Secretary to collaborate with the secretariat of the International Civil Aviation Organization, as appropriate, to support any efforts to develop guidance or standards according to resolution A35-19;

36. Encourages the secretariats of the International Civil Aviation Organization and Asia‑Pacific Economic Cooperation, in addressing the issue of invasive alien species, to coordinate with other relevant bodies, including the secretariats of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the International Plant Protection Convention;

37. Encourages Parties and other Governments to promote collaboration at the national level among relevant agencies responsible for matters of invasive alien species and/or civil air transport (e.g., civil aviation, transport, customs, trade, plant protection, environment) so that all relevant issues are raised through national participation in the International Civil Aviation Organization;

Military activities

38. Encourages relevant United Nations bodies, in collaboration with the Convention on Biological Diversity and relevant organizations, to develop and promulgate guidance or codes of practice to address the issue of introduction and spread of invasive alien species associated with military operations or aid including peace-keeping operations;

39. Encourages Parties and other Governments to ensure that they promote good practice in relation to invasive alien species in any military-aid or joint exercises, and to develop procedures and build capacity among their military forces to avoid the introduction of potentially invasive species into new areas, taking into account relevant international guidance, and to detect and rectify any problems of invasive alien species created during military operations;

Emergency relief, aid and response

40. Encourages relevant international bodies and organizations to develop international codes of practice for preventing and minimizing potential spread of invasive alien species on equipment, supplies and vehicles associated with emergency relief, aid and response efforts, and to develop procedures for ensuring that assessments to determine aid requirements include identification of any issues of invasive alien species;

41. Encourages the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the World Food Programme and other relevant bodies to develop codes of practice or guidelines such as the IUCN Guidelines for Restoration of Tsunami-Affected Areas for dealing with cases where invasive alien species are dispersed following a natural disaster or event;

42. Urges Governments and other donors to take measures to prevent and minimize the introduction and spread of invasive alien species as part of their emergency relief, aid and any response efforts, and to take into account any relevant codes of practice or guidelines that may be developed at international level, or national legislation as appropriate, in their national aid operations or in the operations of non-governmental organizations within their country;

International development assistance

43. Encourages United Nations bodies and other organizations involved in international development assistance, in cooperation with the Convention on Biological Diversity and other relevant bodies or agreements, to develop or adopt existing procedures or codes of practice to minimize the risks associated with the use, dispersal or establishment of invasive alien species, taking into account relevant national codes of practice or other guidance;

44. Urges Parties and other Governments to consider, through collaboration with biosecurity, biodiversity and aid organizations, national controls or codes of practice to address invasive alien species in development assistance efforts;

Scientific research

45. Urges Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations to raise awareness among scientific research organizations of existing measures to control the spread of invasive alien species, and to put in place measures to prevent or minimize the risks of introduction and spread of invasive alien species associated with scientific research activities;

46. Encourages relevant international and regional organizations, including the Future Harvest (CGIAR) centres, Botanic Gardens Conservation International and the International Union of Forestry Research Organizations, as well as professional societies, to develop codes of practice for preventing and minimizing the risk of introduction and spread of invasive alien species associated with scientific‑research activities, and to carry out risk assessments as appropriate on proposed species introductions associated with such scientific‑research activities, recognizing the need to avoid duplication of efforts, and encourages the Global Invasive Species Programme to review and make available existing information in this regard;

47. Requests the Executive Secretary, in consultation with relevant bodies and organizations, to identify existing guidelines on scientific research that address invasive alien species, and to disseminate them through the clearing-house mechanism;

48. Emphasizes the need for taxonomic studies to deal with invasive alien species, and encourages implementation of the planned activity on invasive alien species within the programme of work of the Global Taxonomy Initiative;

Tourism

49. Decides to consider, as appropriate, in its future work relating to sustainable tourism, the issue of tourism as a pathway for introduction and spread of invasive alien species;

50. Urges Parties and other Governments, and regional bodies where appropriate, to take measures to address the issue of tourism as a pathway for introduction and spread of invasive alien species, taking into account the Guidelines on Biodiversity and Tourism Development adopted in decision VII/14, with particular emphasis on tourism in sites of high conservation value;

51. Encourages the World Tourism Organization, the International Air Transport Association, and other relevant international organizations to promote education and public awareness, for example through development of codes of practice, regarding the role of tourism as a pathway for introduction and spread of invasive alien species;

Pets, aquarium species, live bait, live food and plant seeds

52. Encourages relevant Government departments, consumer protection groups, industry, trade and shipment organizations, and other relevant organizations such as the Universal Postal Union and the Global Express Association, to raise awareness with consumers, including through Internet sites that facilitate transactions or may otherwise be visited by consumers, and to further study, as appropriate, current safe disposal measures for imported alien species, with a view to considering development of guidance or codes of practice regarding trade in pets, aquarium species and plant seeds, in particular disposal and discard of such species;

53. Urges Parties and other Governments to take measures, as appropriate and consistent with their national and international obligations, to control import or export of pets, aquarium species, live bait, live food or plant seeds, that pose risks as invasive alien species;

54. Further urges Parties and other Governments to take action, as appropriate and consistent with their national and international obligations, to prevent and minimize introductions of known invasive species into the wild, including through measures addressing disposal and discard of such species;

Biocontrol agents

55. Urges Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations to evaluate and take appropriate measures (e.g., develop guidance or codes of practice regarding the trade and use of biocontrol agents) at national, regional and global levels to address the potential risks of biocontrol agents as invasive alien species, taking into account the work of relevant international bodies and agreements such as the International Plant Protection Convention, as well as the experience of countries at national level;

Ex situ animal breeding programmes

56. Encourages the animal breeding industry, as well as regional and international organizations such as IUCN and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, to promote sharing of best practices regarding the movement of alien animal species for ex situ breeding;

57. Urges Parties and other Governments to take measures as appropriate and consistent with their national and international obligations, based for example on risk assessment, to control movements of animals used for ex situ breeding, including controlling the movements of fish between water bodies and drainage basins as well as containing the movements of animals within safari parks and zoos;

Inter-basin water transfer and navigational canals

58. Encourages relevant regional and international organizations and bodies to require impact assessments to ensure consideration of invasive alien species issues within water transfer schemes and navigation canal projects, and to develop technical advice on methods to prevent or minimize the introduction or spread of invasive alien species through canals and pipes;

59. Urges Parties and other Governments, as a matter of priority, to implement activity 1.4.4 of the revised programme of work on inland waters (decision VII/4, annex), (“Within the context of transboundary catchments, watershed and river-basin management, and especially in relation to inter‑basin water transfers, provide appropriate mechanisms to prevent the spread of invasive alien species”);

Action or lack of action to address spread of invasive alien species

60. Encourages Parties, other Governments, and regional bodies to develop procedures and/or controls to ensure that cross-border impacts of potentially invasive alien species are considered as part of national and regional decision-making processes, taking into account already existing procedures and controls for invasive alien species that are pests of plants under the International Plant Protection Convention;

61. Urges Parties and other Governments to share information on domestic occurrences of alien species that may be invasive elsewhere, through appropriate information-sharing mechanisms;

62. Urges Parties and other Governments to be proactive in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive alien species within their territories, for example by offering to help neighbouring States to deal with particular alien species that may cross borders;

63. Encourages Parties to take into account, as appropriate, the issue of invasive alien species with respect to World Heritage sites or other such sites;

Unintended protection of invasive alien species

64. Encourages Parties, other Governments and relevant international bodies to ensure that relevant laws and provisions, such as those related to conservation, do not inadvertently constrain the use of appropriate measures to address invasive alien species;

65. Encourages Parties and other Governments to raise the issue of invasive alien species at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting, and to support the development of measures to address threats of invasive alien species in the Antarctic Treaty area;

66. Encourages Parties to the Antarctic Treaty to consider improving the controls contemplated under the 1991 Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty;

Inconsistency in terminology

67. Encourages relevant bodies and organizations to promote clarification and common understanding of terminology related to invasive alien species, for example through the development of interpretive guidance or through collaborative workshops involving multiple sectors;

68. Encourages Parties and other Governments to facilitate common understanding of terminology through collaboration and communication among relevant agencies, and through appropriate design of training and operational materials;

69. Requests the Executive Secretary, in collaboration with relevant organizations, to compile a glossary of terms used in various forums in relation to invasive alien species, as requested in paragraph 28 (b) of decision VI/23, 1 / and to make that list available through the clearing-house mechanism;

70. Further requests the Executive Secretary to include the issue of terminology in joint work plans with other secretariats;

Preparations for the in-depth review at the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties

71. Requests the Executive Secretary, in preparation for the in-depth review of ongoing work on invasive alien species that will take place at the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (as specified in decision VII/31 on the multi-year programme of work) to review implementation of all decisions 1 / related to invasive alien species on the basis of inter alia the third national report and the views and experiences submitted by Parties, other Governments and relevant international organizations not later than six months prior to the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, and to report on that review to the Conference of the Parties at its ninth meeting.





1 / One representative entered a formal objection during the process leading to the adoption of decision VI/23 and underlined that he did not believe that the Conference of the Parties could legitimately adopt a motion or a text with a formal objection in place. A few representatives expressed reservations regarding the procedure leading to the adoption of this decision (see UNEP/CBD/COP/6/20, paras. 294-324).

2 / General Assembly Resolution 51/229 of 21 May 1997, annex.

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  • United Nations Environment Programme