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SBSTTA 11 Recommendation XI/12

Alien species that threaten ecosystems, habitats or species (Article8(h)): further consideration of gaps and inconsistencies in the international regulatory framework

The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice recommends that the Conference of the Parties, at its eighth meeting:

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*, and expresses appreciation to the Global Invasive Species Program 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. Recognizes that building capacity for action at the national level is often the most important factor for addressing the various pathways for introduction and spread of invasive alien species, and invites 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 among them, countries with economies in transition, and countries that are centers of origin and centers 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;

6. Consider 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, sub-regional, 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 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 sub-regional 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 paragraphs27 and 28 of decision VI/23, 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, and the request to the Executive Secretary to make this information available through the clearing-house mechanism, as called for in paragraphs 25, 26, and 28 of decision VI/23;

12. Urges Parties and other Governments to notify potential importing countries of relevant information about particular species that are subject to export and may be potentially invasive, through, for example, alert lists or other appropriate information-sharing mechanisms, and to take 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. 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, 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 SBSTTA and by the Conference of the Parties at its ninth meeting;

14. Requests the Executive Secretary to communicate this recommendation to the UNFCCC secretariat to facilitate its being taken into account, as appropriate, by Parties to the UNFCCC in framing and implementing the decisions of the UNFCCC;

Conveyances as pathways for invasive alien species

15. 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, introduced or spread through various conveyances (e.g., vessels, floating timber, equipment and machinery, household goods, packaging and containers, waste materials, etc.), including any risk assessments that have been carried out for particular species or pathways;

16. Encourages Parties and other Governments to conduct 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;

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

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

Aquaculture/mariculture

19. 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 and/or voluntary certification schemes for aquaculture to address invasive alien species, taking into account existing efforts such as those of the Global Aquaculture Alliance;

20. Urges Parties and other Governments to implement the ICES Code of Practice on the Introduction and Transfers of Marine Organisms, the FAO Code of Conduct on Responsible Fisheries, and Article 196 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea;

21. 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;

Ballast water

22. 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;

23. 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;

24. 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;

25. 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

26. 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;

27. 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;

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

29. 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;

30. Invites the United Nations informal consultative process on oceans and the law of the sea to recognize the serious threat posed by marine biofouling (including small vessels) and the limited mandate of the International Maritime Organization to address the full scope of the issue, and to recommend to the General Assembly of the United Nations a mechanism for addressing this issue;

Civil air transport

31. 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;

32. 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;

33. Encourages the secretariat of the International Civil Aviation Organization, 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;

34. 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

35. 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 peacekeeping operations;

36. 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 within 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

37. 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;

38. 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;

39. 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 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

40. 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;

41. 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

42. 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, where appropriate, measures to prevent or minimize the risks of introduction and spread of invasive alien species associated with scientific research activities;

43. 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, 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;

44. 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;

45. 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

46. 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;

47. 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;

48. 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

49. 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 consider development of guidance or codes of practice regarding trade in pets, aquarium species and plant seeds, in particular disposal and discard of such species;

50. 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;

51. Further urges Parties and other Governments to take actions, 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

52. 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

53. 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;

54. 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

55. 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;

56. 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

57. 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;

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

59. 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;

60. 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

61. 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;

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

Inconsistency in terminology

63. 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;

64. 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;

65. 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 paragraph28(b) of decision VI/23, and to make that list available through the clearing-house mechanism;

66. 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

[67. Notes the reference, in 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), to the outstanding procedural [and substantive] issues related to decision VI/23*;]

68. Requests the Executive Secretary, in preparation for the in-depth review of ongoing work on invasive alien species which 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), and in accordance with the recommendation of the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Working Group on Review of Implementation of the Convention to consolidate the decisions on invasive alien species prior to the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, to review implementation of all decisions related to invasive alien species, in particular decisions VII/13, VI/23 and V/8, and the decision on invasive alien species that may be adopted at the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, and to report on this review to the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and technological Advice prior to the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties;


* 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