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COP 9 Decision IX/4

In-depth review of ongoing work on alien species that threaten ecosystems, habitats or species

A. Gaps and inconsistencies in the international regulatory framework

The Conference of the Parties,

Recalling its decision VIII/27, and welcoming the consultations undertaken by the Executive Secretary, as requested in paragraph 14 of that decision,

Reaffirming the need to address the gaps and inconsistencies identified by 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) and considered in decision VIII/27,

1. Encourages Parties, where appropriate, to make use of the risk assessment guidance and other procedures and standards developed by the International Plant Protection Convention, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and other relevant organizations, in order to contribute to closing the identified gaps on invasive alien species at national level, and in particular, to consider applying, where appropriate, the procedures and standards for quarantine pests under the International Plant Protection Convention, to all invasive alien species that have adverse impacts on plant biodiversity, consistent with international obligations;

2. Invites the International Plant Protection Convention to continue its efforts to expand, within its mandate, its actual coverage of invasive alien species which impact on biodiversity, including in aquatic environments;

3. Invites the International Committee of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) to note 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 consider whether and how it could contribute to addressing this gap, including for example by:

(a) Expanding the OIE list of pathogens to include a wider range of diseases of animals, including diseases that solely affect wildlife; and

(b) Considering whether it may play a role in addressing invasive animals that are not considered as causative agents of diseases under OIE and whether, for this purpose, it would need to broaden its mandate;

4. Invites the Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures of the World Trade Organization to note the lack of international standards covering invasive alien species, in particular animals, that are not pests of plants under the International Plant Protection Convention, nor diseases that are listed by the World Organization for Animal Health, and to consider ways and means so that that the provisions in the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement of the World Trade Organization covering animal and plant health can be implemented to address risks from invasive alien species associated with international trade;

5. Invites the Committee on Fisheries of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to note 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 consider further ways and means to address this gap as it applies to the introduction, for fisheries and aquaculture, of alien species, including the development of clear and practical guidance, for example by considering the formalization of relevant technical guidance developed by the secretariat of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations;

6. Encourages Parties and other Governments to raise the above issues formally through their national delegations to the World Organization for Animal Health, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization;

7. Requests the Executive Secretary to write to the heads of the secretariats of the bodies mentioned in paragraphs 2 to 5 above, noting the desirability of a response to these invitations for consideration by the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties;

8. Invites Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations to submit to the Executive Secretary examples of best practices for addressing the risks associated with the introduction of alien species as pets, aquarium and terrarium species, and as live bait and live food;

9. Requests the Executive Secretary, in collaboration with the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP), the IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group (IUCN-ISSG), the International Civil Aviation Organization, the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council and other relevant organizations to continue collating, the information provided on the basis of paragraph 8, as well as the information gathered at the expert workshop on best practices for pre-import screening of live animals (UNEP/CBD/COP/9/INF/32/Add.1, held in Indiana, United States of America from 9 to 11 April 2008 and organized by the Global Invasive Species Programme, the Invasive Species Specialist Group and the University of Notre Dame, in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, best practices for addressing the risks associated with the introduction of alien species as pets, aquarium and terrarium species, and as live bait and live food, and to make this information available through the clearing-house mechanism as well as to the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice for its consideration at a meeting prior to the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties;

10. Requests the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice to consider the collation of best practices prepared by the Executive Secretary referred to in paragraphs 8 and 9 above, and, if necessary and appropriate, to consider the establishment of an ad hoc technical expert group to suggest means, including practical guidance, for addressing the risks associated with the introduction of alien species as pets, aquarium and terrarium species, and as live bait and live food;

11. Requests the Executive Secretary to continue to collaborate with the secretariats of the International Plant Protection Convention, the World Organization for Animal Health, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the World Trade Organization, as well as other international organizations, such as International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization, with a view to filling gaps and promoting coherence in the regulatory framework, reducing duplication, promoting other actions to address invasive alien species at the national level and facilitating support to Parties including through capacity-building, and to prepare a report for the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties;

12. Requests the Executive Secretary to consult with the secretariats of relevant organizations, as mentioned in paragraph 11, to explore the extent to which existing international instruments recognize and address threats from invasive alien genotypes.

13. Requests the Executive Secretary to report on implementation of this decision, and decision VIII/27, and, if necessary, present options for further work to address these gaps to the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice at a meeting immediately prior to the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties.

B. Follow-up to the in-depth review of the programme of work

The Conference of the Parties,

Recalling its decisions IV/1 C, V/8, VI/23 4/ VII/13 and VIII/27, and other provisions adopted to implement Article 8(h) of the Convention in the thematic programmes of work and work on cross-cutting issues;

Taking note of the progress made in implementing Article 8(h) of the Convention, as summarized in documents UNEP/CBD/COP/9/11, UNEP/CBD/COP/9/INF/32 and UNEP/CBD/COP/9/INF/32/Add.1

1. Recognizes that the decisions adopted to date for the prevention, introduction and mitigation of impacts of alien species that threaten ecosystems, habitats or species, including the "Guiding Principles" adopted in decision VI/23 5 continue to provide relevant guidance for work on invasive alien species to achieve the objectives of the Convention, its Strategic Plan and the 2010 biodiversity targets, and other global goals such as the Millennium Development Goals;

National, regional and subregional activities and capacity-building

2. Reaffirms the need for Parties and other Governments to develop and implement national and, as appropriate, regional, policies, strategies and/or programmes for addressing invasive alien species and their threats to biodiversity at all levels and for effective coordination among relevant agencies,

3 Requests the Global Environment Facility and invites Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations, to support developing countries, in particular the least developed countries and small island developing states, as well as countries with economies in transition, to implement national strategies and programmes on invasive alien species, noting also countries that are centres of origin;

4. Underlining the need also for regional and subregional initiatives to support Parties in developing and implementing national strategies, policies and/or programmes for addressing invasive alien species and noting the value initiatives, such as the Micronesia Regional Invasive Species Council, the Pacific Invasives Initiative of the Cooperative Islands Initiative and the Pacific Invasives Learning Network, and the European strategy on invasive alien species, for facilitating national implementation and providing coordination among countries, particularly those with limited capacity, encourages other regions, that have not yet done so to consider exploring the benefits of regional cooperative mechanisms, invites Parties, other Governments and financial institutions to support them;

5. Requests the Executive Secretary and the Global Invasive Species Programme to identify existing information management networks, expertise and opportunities to further enhance the work of regional organizations at the national level and to share lessons learned on regional approaches;

6. Welcomes the offer of New Zealand to host a technical workshop, in collaboration with the Executive Secretary, to address how experiences and lessons learned on regional coordination to invasive alien species in islands particularly the Pacific Invasives Initiative, can inform, strengthen and build regional initiatives to support the implementation of the Convention, in particular programme of work on island biodiversity, related to the prevention and management of invasive alien species;

7. Invites Parties to collaborate on the development and use of early warning systems, including networks of focal points, and on the development and use of rapid response mechanisms;

8. Acknowledges the efforts of farmers and of indigenous and local communities in addressing the threats from invasive alien species and encourages Parties and other Governments to further enhance and strengthen the involvement and participation of farmers and of indigenous and local communities in the management of invasive alien species, and to include such activities in the implementation of national strategies and action plans on invasive alien species;

9. Reaffirms the need for capacity-building in support of the activities by Parties and other Governments in response to this decision, and urges Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations, in a position to do so, to provide such support, especially to developing countries, in particular the least developed countries and small island developing States among them, as well as countries with economies in transition, and encourages such bodies to coordinate their efforts to maximize effectiveness;

10. Notes with concern that the impacts of invasive alien species continue to grow with increasing global trade, transport and travel, including tourism, and may be exacerbated as result of climate change and land-use change, resulting in significant losses of biodiversity, and negatively impacting socio-economic conditions, human health and the sustainability of indigenous and local communities, and emphasizes the need for additional efforts and resources to address these growing threats;

11. Invites Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations to take into account and, as appropriate, build capacity to address, how climate change affects the risks associated with the introduction, establishment, spread and impacts of invasive alien species;

12. Further recognizes that the in-depth review identified as a major constraint to the implementation of the work on invasive alien species lack of technical, institutional and logistical capacity for the prevention, eradication and control of invasive alien species, including, inter alia, phytosanitary and quarantine control early detection and rapid response systems; incident lists on introductions of alien species, especially in relation to their further spread and impacts on biodiversity and human welfare; adequate field equipment; intersectoral planning; economic valuation; and integrated policy and legal frameworks;

13. Invites Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations to address the above-mentioned capacity gaps;

14. Requests the Executive Secretary to conduct a systematic analysis of resources and opportunities to meet the capacity needs referred to in paragraph 11 of the present decision and for communication through the clearing-house mechanism and to report on progress at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties;

Exchange of Information on best practices and lessons learned and development of tools

15.Further to paragraph 11 of decision VIII/27, invites Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations to submit case-studies, lessons learned and best practices for the implementation of the Guiding Principles, 6/ and other measures to address the threats from invasive alien species, and, where relevant, invasive alien genotypes. Submissions from Parties should focus, inter alia, on examples of the successful use of:

(a) Risk assessment procedures, to evaluate inter alia the socio-economic, health and environmental impacts of invasive alien species, including practical implementation of the precautionary approach, in accordance with principle 15 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development; 7/

(b) Monitoring and surveillance programmes;

(c) Methods for assessing the socio-economic, health and environmental impacts of invasive species and for assessing the costs of invasive species and the benefits of controlling them;

(d) Management of the pathways of transfer, introduction and spread of invasive alien species, particularly those identified as gaps in decision VIII/27, taking into account the ecosystem approach;

(e) Restoration and rehabilitation of ecosystems degraded by the presence of invasive alien species, including the socio-economic aspects;

16. Requests the Executive Secretary to compile the information referred to in the previous paragraph and organize it by subject (e.g. legal framework, risk assessment, control and eradication), and by types of organisms, taxonomic groups, pathways and threats to all levels of biodiversity, and to make it available through the clearing house mechanism;

17. Further requests the Executive Secretary to develop, in collaboration with the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP) and other relevant organizations, practical tools to facilitate the implementation of the decisions of the Conference of the Parties on invasive alien species and the development and implementation of national invasive alien species strategies, taking into account the Guiding Principles 8/ and, where appropriate, making use of, and referencing, the relevant guidance and tools developed through other relevant organizations. These tools should build upon case-studies, lessons learned and best practices submitted by the Parties, including in accordance with paragraph 15 above, and should include practical tools to address the topics listed in that paragraph;

Management, pathways and assessment

18. Encourages Parties and other Governments to consider, and where necessary, to put in place mechanisms to manage pathways, for potential invasive alien species, especially in inland water, marine and coastal ecosystems, including shipping, trade and aquaculture and mariculture bearing in mind national capacities consistent and in harmony with the Convention and relevant international obligations;

19. Encourages relevant international organizations, including inter alia, the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments and the GloBallast Water Management programme, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, and the UNEP Regional Seas Programme to consider, and where necessary, to put in place mechanisms to manage pathways, for potential invasive alien species, especially in inland water, marine and coastal ecosystems, including shipping, trade and aquaculture and mariculture bearing in mind national capacities, taking into account relevant international obligations;

20. Urges Parties and other States that have not done so, to ratify the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments;

21. Noting the need for guidance for other pathways of invasive alien species such as civil aviation, tourism, hull-fouling, and development aid projects, invites relevant organizations including the International Civil Aviation Organization and International Maritime Organization, and development assistance agencies to develop and apply criteria to evaluate invasive alien species risks, and requests the Executive Secretary to liaise with these organizations, regarding the development of international guidance in these areas and to report on progress to the Conference of the Parties at its tenth meeting;

22. Notes the joint programme of work between the Convention on Biological Diversity and the International Plant Protection Convention and welcomes the efforts of the International Plant Protection Convention to develop guidance in the area of plants for planting, particularly as related to ornamental plants and landscaping, and to ensure that such information is communicated via the clearinghouse mechanism;

23. Invites relevant organizations, including the Global Invasive Species Programme, and, as appropriate, Parties and other Governments to support the development and implementation of voluntary schemes, certification systems and codes of conduct for relevant industries and stakeholder groups including specific guidelines to prevent the introduction of, and manage potentially invasive commercially important species (including plants, pets, invertebrates, fish, and aquarium / terrarium species);

24.Further to paragraph 4 of decision VI/23 9/ invites Parties, other Governments, and relevant research organizations to study the impact of other drivers, in particular, land use change, climate change adaptation and mitigation activities, on the introduction, establishment and spread of invasive alien species, and their related socio-economic, health and environmental impacts;

Communication, education and public awareness

25. Invites Parties to strengthen national level communication and synergy across sectors, including where appropriate through the use of the TEMATEA Issue-Based Modules on invasive alien species;

26. Invites Parties to ensure greater cooperation and coordination between relevant agencies and authorities at the national and regional level, including those responsible for veterinary, phytosanitary, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, environment and biodiversity issues, and to consider the advisability of establishing or designating national coordination centres. in order to ensure a coordinated and coherent science-based approach to addressing threats from invasive alien species;

27. Invites Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations to support awarenessraising programmes at all levels for decision makers and practitioners in the freshwater, marine and terrestrial environment sectors, in particular in agriculture, aquaculture and forestry, and in the horticulture trade and pet trade, and more generally, in the transportation, trading, travel and tourism sectors that are potential pathways of biological invasions;

28. Requests the Executive Secretary, in collaboration with the GISP and relevant organizations, to develop training materials in support of awareness-raising and to encourage the organization of practical workshops to strengthen capacity for the implementation of the Guiding Principles 9/ and other measures to address the threats from invasive alien species, while recognizing that such activities will require adequate resources;

29. Recognizes the importance of access to and availability of information on invasive alien species and their taxonomic information for national implementation and the efforts of information initiatives including: the Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network's Invasives Information Network (IABIN-I3N), the North European and Baltic Network on Invasive Alien Species (NOBANIS), Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe (DAISIE); Global Invasive Species Information Network (GISIN), IUCN's Invasive Species Specialist Group's Global Invasive Species Database (GISD) and Global Registry on Invasive Species (GRIS), CABI's Invasive Species Compendium and other resources; and invites Parties and relevant international organizations to support to these initiatives to collect and make relevant information available, and to ensure inter-operability and facilitated access to these data.

Provision of resources

30. Reiterates its invitation to the Global Environment Facility, Parties, other Governments and funding organizations to provide adequate and timely financial support to enable the GISP to fulfil the tasks outlined in many of its decisions






4/ One representative entered a formal objection during the process leading to the adoption of this decision 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).

5/ One representative entered a formal objection during the process leading to the adoption of this decision 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).

6/ One representative entered a formal objection during the process leading to the adoption of this decision 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).

7/ Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro, 3-14 June 1992, vol. I, Resolutions Adopted by the Conference (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.93.I.8 and corrigendum), resolution 1, annex I.

8/ One representative entered a formal objection during the process leading to the adoption of this decision 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).

9/ One representative entered a formal objection during the process leading to the adoption of this decision 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).

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  • United Nations Environment Programme