The Conference of the Parties
I. STATUS AND TRENDS
II. GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ARTICLE 8(h)
Recognizing that invasive alien species represent one of the primary threats to biodiversity, especially in geographically and evolutionary isolated ecosystems, such as small island developing States, and that risks may be increasing due to increased global trade, transport, tourism and climate change,
Reaffirming that full and effective implementation of Article 8(h) is a priority,
III. RELEVANT INTERNATIONAL INSTRUMENTS
Acknowledging the contribution to the implementation of Article 8(h) of existing international instruments, such as the International Plant Protection Convention, and relevant international organizations such as the Office International des Epizooties, the regional plant protection organizations, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Maritime Organization, the World Health Organization and other international organizations that develop relevant standards and agreements,
Noting, however, in the light of the review of the efficiency and efficacy of existing legal instruments applicable to invasive alien species(50), that there are certain gaps and inconsistencies in the international regulatory framework from the perspective of the threats of invasive alien species to biological diversity,
IV. OTHER OPTIONS
Reaffirming the importance of national and regional invasive alien species strategies and action plans, and of international collaboration to address the threats to biodiversity of invasive alien species and the need for funding as a priority to implement existing strategies,
Noting the range of measures(51) and the need to strengthen national capacities and international collaboration,
(a) National invasive alien species strategies and action plans
(b) International cooperation
(c) Assessment, information and tools
V. ACTIVITIES AND CAPACITY-BUILDING
GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR THE PREVENTION, INTRODUCTION AND MITIGATION OF IMPACTS OF ALIEN SPECIES THAT THREATEN ECOSYSTEMS, HABITATS OR SPECIES
This document provides all Governments and organizations with guidance for developing effective strategies to minimize the spread and impact of invasive alien species. While each country faces unique challenges and will need to develop context-specific solutions, the Guiding Principles give governments clear direction and a set of goals to aim toward. The extent to which these Guiding Principles can be implemented ultimately depends on available resources. Their purpose is to assist governments to combat invasive alien species as an integral component of conservation and economic development. Because these 15 principles are non-binding, they can be more readily amended and expanded through the Convention on Biological Diversity's processes as we learn more about this problem and its effective solutions.
According to Article 3 of the Convention on Biological Diversity, States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.
It should be noted that in the Guiding Principles below, the terms listed in footnote(57) are used.
Also, while applying these Guiding Principles, due consideration must be given to the fact that ecosystems are dynamic over time and so the natural distribution of species might vary without involvement of a human agent.
Guiding principle 1: Precautionary approach
Given the unpredictability of the pathways and impacts on biological diversity of invasive alien species, efforts to identify and prevent unintentional introductions as well as decisions concerning intentional introductions should be based on the precautionary approach, in particular with reference to risk analysis, in accordance with the guiding principles below. The precautionary approach is that set forth in principle 15 of the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and in the preamble of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The precautionary approach should also be applied when considering eradication, containment and control measures in relation to alien species that have become established. Lack of scientific certainty about the various implications of an invasion should not be used as a reason for postponing or failing to take appropriate eradication, containment and control measures.
Guiding principle 2: Three-stage hierarchical approach
Guiding principle 3: Ecosystem approach
Measures to deal with invasive alien species should, as appropriate, be based on the ecosystem approach, as described in decision V/6 of the Conference of the Parties.
Guiding principle 4: The role of States
Guiding principle 5: Research and monitoring
In order to develop an adequate knowledge base to address the problem, it is important that States undertake research on and monitoring of invasive alien species, as appropriate. These efforts should attempt to include a baseline taxonomic study of biodiversity. In addition to these data, monitoring is the key to early detection of new invasive alien species. Monitoring should include both targeted and general surveys, and benefit from the involvement of other sectors, including local communities. Research on an invasive alien species should include a thorough identification of the invasive species and should document: (a) the history and ecology of invasion (origin, pathways and time-period); (b) the biological characteristics of the invasive alien species; and (c) the associated impacts at the ecosystem, species and genetic level and also social and economic impacts, and how they change over time.
Guiding principle 6: Education and public awareness
Raising the public's awareness of the invasive alien species is crucial to the successful management of invasive alien species. Therefore, it is important that States should promote education and public awareness of the causes of invasion and the risks associated with the introduction of alien species. When mitigation measures are required, education and public-awareness-oriented programmes should be set in motion so as to engage local communities and appropriate sector groups in support of such measures.
Guiding principle 7: Border control and quarantine measures
Guiding principle 8: Exchange of information
Guiding principle 9: Cooperation, including capacity-building
Depending on the situation, a State's response might be purely internal (within the country), or may require a cooperative effort between two or more countries. Such efforts may include:
C. Introduction of species
Guiding principle 10: Intentional introduction
Guiding principle 11: Unintentional introductions
D. Mitigation of impacts
Guiding principle 12: Mitigation of impacts
Once the establishment of an invasive alien species has been detected, States, individually and cooperatively, should take appropriate steps such as eradication, containment and control, to mitigate adverse effects. Techniques used for eradication, containment or control should be safe to humans, the environment and agriculture as well as ethically acceptable to stakeholders in the areas affected by the invasive alien species. Mitigation measures should take place in the earliest possible stage of invasion, on the basis of the precautionary approach. Consistent with national policy or legislation, an individual or entity responsible for the introduction of invasive alien species should bear the costs of control measures and biological diversity restoration where it is established that they failed to comply with the national laws and regulations. Hence, early detection of new introductions of potentially or known invasive alien species is important, and needs to be combined with the capacity to take rapid follow-up action.
Guiding principle 13: Eradication
Where it is feasible, eradication is often the best course of action to deal with the introduction and establishment of invasive alien species. The best opportunity for eradicating invasive alien species is in the early stages of invasion, when populations are small and localized; hence, early detection systems focused on high-risk entry points can be critically useful while post-eradication monitoring may be necessary. Community support is often essential to achieve success in eradication work, and is particularly effective when developed through consultation. Consideration should also be given to secondary effects on biological diversity.
Guiding principle 14: Containment
When eradication is not appropriate, limiting the spread (containment) of invasive alien species is often an appropriate strategy in cases where the range of the organisms or of a population is small enough to make such efforts feasible. Regular monitoring is essential and needs to be linked with quick action to eradicate any new outbreaks.
Guiding principle 15: Control
Control measures should focus on reducing the damage caused as well as reducing the number of the invasive alien species. Effective control will often rely on a range of integrated management techniques, including mechanical control, chemical control, biological control and habitat management, implemented according to existing national regulations and international codes.